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DEC  2  0  19*1 

COPTRIOHT,  1882, 1888,  BY 











THE  reception  of  this  work,  both  in  the  United  States  and  Eu- 
rope, as  well  as  ia  the  East,  has  been  most  kindly.  From  those 
btst  able  to  criticise  it '  thoroughly,  by  having  made  themselves 
fa  uiliar  by  travel  in  the  interior  of  Corea  beyond  the  ports  and 
capital,  have  come  gratifying  words  of  high  appreciation.  Of 
course  errors  have  been  pointed  out,  and  these,  wherever  proved, 
have  been  corrected  in  the  present  edition.  The  publishers  have 
al^o  generously  permitted  the  introduction  of  new  matter,  in  the 
form  of  foot-notes,  and  the  addition  of  a  supplementary  chapter. 
The  author  returns  hearty  thanks  to  Ensign  G.  C.  Foulke  and 
Lieutenant  J.  G.  Bernadon,  United  States  Navy  ;  General  Lucius 
H  Foote,  Mr.  Pierre  L.  Jouy,  Rev.  Horace  C.  Underwood,  Dr.  H. 
N.  Allen,  Mr.  W.  G.  Aston,  Mr.  Percival  Lowell,  Mr.  W.  R.  Carles, 
R')v.  Henry  Loomis,  Soh  Kwang  Pom,  Yu  Kil  Jun,  Pien  Su,  and 
the  other  naval  officers,  natives,  travellers,  missionaries,  and  resi- 
de nts  in  Corea  who  have  aided  him  with  their  criticisms,  or  infor- 
mition.  He  will  be  grateful  if  others  will  point  out  inaccuracies. 
Ha  is  heartily  glad  that  others  have  entered  the  field  to  awaken  in- 
terest in  the  once  "hermit  nation,"  which  is  soon  to  become,  let 
u^  hope,  civilized,  social,  and  Christian. 

W.  E.  G. 

BOSTON,  June  30,  1888. 


THE  publishers  have  informed  the  author  of  their  intention  to 
issue  an  edition  of  the  present  work  in  a  cheaper  form.  By  their 
courtesy,  he  would  improve  the  opportunity  to  add  a  few  words  of 
comment  upon  our  present  knowledge  of  Corea,  and  upon  affairs 
in  Cho-sen  since  the  treaty  was  made  with  the  United  States. 

Concerning  the  first  matter  there  is  little  to  be  said.  A  con- 
siderable number  of  naval,  diplomatic,  missionary,  and  commercial 
visitors  from  America  and  Europe  have  visited  the  Corean  capital 
and  parts  adjacent.  Few  of  them  have  gone  beyond  beaten 
tracks  ;  and,  owing  to  recent  political  disorders,  thorough  research 
has  as  yet  hardly  begun.  We  look,  however,  for  results  of  value 
from  the  presence  of  the  American  missionaries  and  the  scientific 
commission  now  in  the  country.  We  have  not,  therefore,  made 
any  addition  to  our  text. 

The  reception  of  this  work,  both  in  this  country  and  Europe, 
has  been  most  kindly.  Since  its  issue,  in  October,  1882,  several 
events  of  interest  have  occurred,  of  which  we  here  take  note. 

The  treaty  negotiated  by  Commodore  Slmfeldt  was  duly  ratified 
by  the  United  States  Senate,  and  on  February  26,  1883,  Presi- 
dent Arthur  sent  in  the  name  of  Lucius  H.  Foote  as  minister 
plenipotentiary  to  Corea.  The  appointment  was  confirmed  on 
the  following  day.  General  Foote  reached  -Chi-mul-po,  in  the 
U.  S.  Steamship  Monocacy,  May  13th,  and  the  formal  ratifications 
of  the  treaty  were  exchanged  in  the  capital  six  days  later. 
The  guns  of  the  Monocacy — the  same  which  shelled  the  Han  forts 
in  1870 — fired  the  first  salute  ever  given  to  the  Corean  flag. 

The  king  responded  by  sending  to  the  United  States  an  em- 
bassy of  eleven  persons,  led  by  Min  Yong  Ik  and  Hong  Yong  Sik, 
members  respectively  of  the  Conservative  and  Liberal  parties. 
Their  interview  with  President  Arthur  was  in  the  parlors  of  the 


Futh  Avenue  Hotel,  New  York,  on  September  17th.  All  the 
Ccreans  were  dressed  in  their  national  costume,  which  they  wore 
habitually  while  in  America.  After  spending  some  weeks  in  the 
study  of  American  institutions  in  several  cities,  part  of  the  embassy 
returned  home  by  way  of  San  Francisco,  leaving  one  of  their  num- 
ber at  Salem,  Mass.,  to  remain  as  a  student ;  while  Min  Yong  Ik 
and  two  secretaries  embarked  on  the  U.  S.  Steamship  Trenton,  and, 
afcer  visiting  Europe,  reached  Seoul  in  June,  1884  The  author 
spent  a  most  profitable  and  pleasant  evening,  November  27th,  with 
the  three  Coreans  before  they  left  New  York.  Many  questions  con- 
cerning their  country  were  discussed.  Mr.  Everett  Fraser,  No.  123 
Front  Street,  New  York  City,  now  acts  as  his  Corean  majesty's 
cc  nsul-general  in  the  United  States. 

On  that  same  evening,  November  27,  1883,  there  was  a  banquet 
in  the  Corean  capital  to  celebrate  the  signing  of  the  treaties  made 
the  day  before  with  Great  Britain  and  Germany.  Sir  Harry  Parkes 
and  Herr  Zappe  had  succeeded  in  negotiating  conventions  which 
are  even  more  liberal  in  their  provisions  than  that  made  with  the 
United  States.  The  principal  foreign  adviser  of  the  Corean  gov- 
ernment since  1882  has  been  Herr  Paul  von  Mollenforf,  whom  the 
Coreans  employed  at  the  suggestion  of  Li  Hung  Chang.  Italy  and 
Eussia  have  also  entered  into  diplomatic  relations  with  Corea. 
Cther  evidences  of  the  influence  of  the  West  upon  Corea  were  the 
opening  of  a  telegraph-office  at  Fusan,  February  28,  1884,  on  the 
completion  of  the  submarine  electric  cable  from  Nagasaki,  the  emis- 
sion  of  native  silver  coins,  and  the  inauguration  of  light-house  and 
postal  systems. 

While  everything  seemed  to  promise  well  for  the  nascent  civili- 
zation imported  from  Christendom,  the  political  situation  was  one 
fraught  with  danger.  The  military  camps  of  two  rival,  almost  hos- 
tile, nations  were  upon  the  soil.  A  Corean  Liberal  declares  that 
the  sending  of  Chinese  troops  to  Corea  in  1882  was  the  work  of 
two  or  three  Chinese  leaders,  under  the  pretext  of  protecting  China 
from  Kussian  invasion.  Their  real,  but  secret,  purpose  was,  he  de- 
clares, to  prevent  the  Coreans  from  adopting  western  civilization. 
'The  seed  of  the  riot  [of  December  4-6,  1884]  was  sown  by  Chi- 
i  ese  barbarism,  and  ripened  by  Chinese  cruelty." 


The  affair  was  in  its  origin  a  popular  demonstration,  instigated 
by  Radical  Progressives  against  Chinese  influence  as  exhibited  by 
a  rapacious  and  undisciplined  soldiery.  It  took  the  form  of  a  mur- 
derous attack  upon  the  conservative  or  pro-Chinese  ministers  of  the 
court,  five  or  six  of  whom  were  slain.  During  the  excitement  an 
angry  mob  surrounded  the  palace,  and  the  king  sent  for  the  pro- 
tection of  the  Japanese  legation-guards.  The  Chinese  military  re- 
sented this,  moved  on  the  royal  residence,  and  a  collision  was  pre-. 
cipitated,  in  which  several  tens  of  men  were  killed.  A  bloody  battle 
ensued,  and  the  Japanese,  greatly  outnumbered,  retreated  in  good 
order  to  their  legation.  This  building  was  besieged  by  the  mob, 
and  finally  deserted  by  the  Japanese,  who,  with  all  their  country- 
men, left  the  city  for  Chi-mul-po.  The  legation,  which  had  cost 
$80,000,  and  the  army  stores  were,  with  much  other  property  in 
the  city,  fired  by  the  rioters.  The  foreigners  in  Seoul  took  refuge 
in  General  Foote's  house,  and  soon  afterward  left  for  Chi-mul-po. 
Dr.  H.  N.  Allen,  the  American  surgeon,  was  kept  busy  for  weeks 
in  attendance  upon  the  victims  wounded  in  the  rioting,  num- 
bering about  one  hundred.  The  house  of  Hong  Yong  Sik,  who 
had  been  beheaded  by  the  Chinese,  was  by  government  order 
turned  into  a  hospital,  or  "  House  of  Civilized  Virtue,"  and  pat  in 
charge  of  Dr.  Allen.  Ensign  George  W.  Foulk  and  Lieutenant  J. 
B.  Bernadon,  of  the  U.  S.  Navy,  remained  in  the  legation  during 
the  exodus  of  foreigners  from  Seoul,  our  flag  not  being  lowered  at 
any  time.  Mr.  Foulk  writes  under  date  of  June,  1885  :  "  In 
Corea,  I  used  it  ["Corea,  the  Hermit  Nation,"]  as  a  field  book  ; 
but  in  the  disturbances  of  December  last,  my  house  was  looted  by 
the  mob,  and  all  my  effects  carried  off.  The  library  of  the  palace 
was  lost  at  the  same  time  ;  so  that  I  must  infer  the  book  you  sent 
to  His  Majesty  was  also  lost." 

The  Corean  Government  has  recently  made  claim  upon  that  of 
Japan  for  the  extradition  of  the  Liberals  who  had  fled  to  the  lat- 
ter country — a  demand  very  properly  refused.  Three  of  these 
refugees  arrived  in  San  Francisco,  June  11,  1885.  Their  names  are 
Pak  Yong  Ho,  a  nobleman,  and  envoy  to  Japan  in  1881 ;  So  Kwang 
Pom,  secretary  to  the  embassy  to  the  United  States  in  1883  ;  and 
Sai  Jai  Pil,  a  graduate  of  the  Tokio  Military  Academy.  All  were 


m< Ambers  of  the  Liberal  ministry  overthrown,  in  December  last, 
during  the  tumult. 

Negotiations  between  China  and  Japan  relative  to  the  affair  of 
December,  1884,  were  carried  on  between  the  Mikado's  Ambassador 
Ito  and  Li  Hung  Chang,  at  Tientsin.  They  resulted  in  a  treaty, 
which  was  formally  ratified  May  7,  1885.  Both  powers  agreed  to 
withdraw  their  troops  within  four  months,  and  to  invite  the  King 
of  Corea  to  have  a  sufficient  military  force  drilled  for  the  public 
security  by  officers  selected  from  a  third  power  (probably  the 
United  States).  The  text  of  the  treaty  was  published  May  27th. 

The  attention  of  Christian  people  is  now  being  concentrated 
ujon  Corea  as  a  missionary  field.  With  commendable  promptness 
no  less  than  ten  American  missionaries  are,  at  this  writing,  either 
already  in  their  field,  or  on  the  route  thither.  A  number  of  native 
refugees  in  Japan  are  under  Christian  influences,  and  are  earnest 
inquirers.  Some  are  pronounced  believers,  and  one  Rijiutei  is  trans- 
lalingthe  Bible  into  his  native  language.  Three  representative  men 
are  now  among  us,  in  our  own  land,  studying  our  country  and  the 
faith  of  her  people.  The  Corean  character  seems  to  be  a  happy 
medium  between  the  stolid  Chinaman  and  the  changeable  Japanese. 
With  the  memory  of  recent  martyrdoms,  Corea  may  become  Chris- 
tian sooner  and  more  thoroughly  than  Japan,  and  aid  in  the  mighty 
work  of  evangelizing  China.  This  is  the  faith  held  by  some  who 
h&ve  studied  the  three  peoples. 

The  feeling  of  the  progressive  men  of  Corea  concerning  them- 
selves and  ourselves  finds  expression  in  a  recent  letter  from  one  of 
their  number.  These  sentiments  may  fitly  conclude  our  introduc- 
tory words  to  an  edition  of  a  book  designed  to  'make  our  new 
treaty-neighbor  better  known : 

"We  are  the  weakest  nation  in  the  orient,  on  account  of  our 
hr.ving  been  for  thousands  of  years  in  a  hermit  condition." 

"We  are  a  new-born  nation,  and  but  three  years  of  age." 

"  If  we  should  reckon  our  national  age,  in  regard  to  our  political 
relations  to  other  nations  in  the  world,  it  would  begin  from  the 
treaty  that  we  made  with  the  United  States." 

SCHENECTADY,  N.  Y.,  July  6,  1885. 


IN  the  year  1871,  while  living  at  Fukui,  in  the  province  of 
Echizen,  Japan,  I  spent  a  few  days  at  Tsuruga  and  Mikuni,  by  the 
sea  which  separates  Japan  and  Corea.  Like  "  the  Saxon  shore  "  of 
early  Britain,  the  coast  of  Echizen  had  been  in  primeval  times 
the  landing-place  of  rovers,  immigrants,  and  adventurers  from  the 
continental  shore  opposite.  Here,  at  Tsuruga,  Corean  envoys  had 
landed  on  their  way  to  the  mikado's  court.  In  the  temple  near  by 
were  shrines  dedicated  to  the  Corean  Prince  of  Mimana,  and  to 
Jingu  Kogo,  Ojin,  and  Takenouchi,  whose  names  in  Japanese  tra- 
ditions are  associated  with  "The  Treasure-land  of  the  West." 
Across  the  bay  hung  a  sweet-toned  bell,  said  to  have  been  cast  in 
Corea  in  A.D.  647  ;  in  which  tradition — untested  by  chemistry — 
declared  there  was  much  gold.  Among  the  hills  not  far  away, 
nestled  the  little  village  of  Awotabi  (Green  Nook),  settled  centuries 
ago  by  paper-makers,  and  visited  a  millenium  ago  by  tribute- 
bearers,  from  the  neighboring  peninsula ;  and  famous  for  produ- 
cing the  crinkled  paper  on  which  the  diplomatic  correspondence 
between  the  two  nations  was  written.  Some  of  the  first  families  in 
Echizen  were  proud  of  their  descent  from  Cho-sen,  while  in  the 
villages,  where  dwelt  the  Eta,  or  social  outcasts,  I  beheld  the  de- 
scendants of  Corean  prisoners  of  war.  Everywhere  the  finger  of 
tradition  pointed  westward  across  the  waters  to  the  Asian  main- 
land, and  the  whole  region  was  eloquent  of  "kin  beyond  sea." 
Birds  and  animals,  fruits  and  falcons,  vegetables  and  trees,  farmers' 
implements  and  the  potter's  wheel,  names  in  geography  and  thing"1 


in  the  arts,  and  doctrines  and  systems  in  religion  were  in  some  way 
connected  with  Corea. 

The  thought  often  came  to  me  as  I  walked  within  the  moss- 
gr3wn  feudal  castle  walls — old  in  story,  but  then  newly  given  up 
to  schools  of  Western  science  and  languages — why  should  Corea  be 
seiiled  and  mysterious,  when  Japan,  once  a  hermit,  had  opened  her 
dcors  and  come  out  into  the  world's  market-place  ?  When  would 
Corea's  awakening  come?  As  one  diamond  cuts  another,  why 
should  not  Cho-ka  (Japan)  open  Cho-sen  (Corea)  ? 

Turning  with  delight  and  fascination  to  the  study  of  Japanese 
history  and  antiquities,  I  found  much  that  reflected  light  upon  the 
neighbor  country.  On  my  return  home,  I  continued  to  search  for 
m  iterials  for  the  story  of  the  last  of  the  hermit  nations.  No  mas- 
te  L*  of  research  in  China  or  Japan  having  attempted  the  task,  from 
wiiat  Locke  calls  "  the  roundabout  view,"  I  have  essayed  it,  with 
no  claim  to  originality  or  profound  research,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
general  reader,  to  whom  Corea  "  suggests,"  as  an  American  lady 
said,  "no  more  than  a  sea-shell."  Many  ask  "What's  in  Corea  ?" 
and  "Is  Corea  of  any  importance  in  the  history  of  the  world? " 

My  purpose  in  this  work  is  to  give  an  outline  of  the  history  of 
the  Land  of  Morning  Calm — as  the  natives  call  their  country — from 
bofore  the  Christian  era  to  the  present  year.  As  "an  honest  tale 
speeds  best,  being  plainly  told,"  I  have  made  no  attempt  to  em- 
bellish the  narrative,  though  I  have  sought  information  from 
sources  from  within  and  without  Corea,  in  maps  and  charts,  coins 
ai  id  pottery,  the  language  and  art,  notes  and  narratives  of  eye-wit- 
nosses,  pencil-sketches,  paintings  and  photographs,  the  standard 
histories  of  Japan  and  China,  the  testimony  of  sailor  and  diploma- 
tist, missionary  and  castaway,  and  the  digested  knowledge  of  critical 
scholars.  I  have  attempted  nothing  more  than  a  historical  outline 
of  the  nation  and  a  glimpse  at  the  political  and  social  life  of  the 
people.  For  lack  of  space,  the  original  manuscript  of  "  Recent  and 
IV Modern  History,"  part  TTT.,  has  been  greatly  abridged,  and  many 
t<  >pics  of  interest  have  been  left  untouched. 

The  bulk  of  the  text  was  written  between  the  years  1877  and 


1880 ;  since  vvhich  time  the  literature  of  the  subject  has  been  en- 
riched by  Ross's  "Corea"  and  "  Corean  Primer,"  besides  the  Gram- 
mar and  Dictionary  of  the  Corean  language  made  by  the  French 
missionaries.  With  these  linguistic  helps  I  have  been  able  to  get 
access  to  the  language,  and  thus  clear  up  doubtful  points  and  ob- 
tain much  needed  data.  I  have  borrowed  largely  from  Ballet's 
"  Histoire  d'Eglise  de  Coree,"  especially  in  the  chapters  devoted  to 
Folk-lore,  Social  Life,  and  Christianity.  In  the  Bibliography  fol- 
lowing the  Preface  is  a  list  of  works  to  which  I  have  been  more 
or  less  indebted. 

Many  friends  have  assisted  me  with  correspondence,  advice,  or 
help  in  translation,  among  whom  I  must  first  thank  my  former  stu- 
dents, Hasegawa,  Hiraii,  Haraguchi,  Matsui,  and  Imadatte,  and  my 
newer  Japanese  friends,  Ohgimi  and  Kimura,  while  others,  alas  ! 
will  never  in  this  world  see  my  record  of  acknowledgment— K. 
Yaye'  and  Egi  Takato — whose  interest  was  manifested  not  only  in 
discussion  of  mooted  points,  but  by  search  among  the  book-shops 
in  Kioto  and  Tokio,  which  put  much  valuable  standard  matter  in  my 
hands.  I  also  thank  Mr.  Charles  Lanman,  Secretary  of  the  Legation 
of  Japan  in  Washington,  for  four  ferrotypes  taken  in  Seoul  in  1878 
by  members  of  the  Japanese  embassy  ;  Mr.  D.  R.  Clark,  of  th^ 
United  States  Transit  of  Venus  Survey,  for  four  photographs  ol 
the  Corean  villages  in  Russian  Manchuria  ;  Mr.  R.  Ideura,  of  Tokio, 
for  a  set  of  photographs  of  Kang-wa  and  vicinity,  taken  in  1876, 
and  Mr.  Ozawa  Nankoku,  for  sketches  of  Corean  articles  in  Japanese 
museums.  To  Lieutenant  Wadhams,  of  the  United  Stakes  Navy, 
for  the  use  of  charts  and  maps  made  by  himself  while  in  Corea  in 
1871,  and  for  photographs  of  flags  and  other  trophies,  now  at 
Annapolis,  captured  in  the  Han  forts  ;  to  Fleet-Surgeon  H.  O.  Mayo, 
and  other  officers  of  the  United  States  Navy,  for  valuable  informa- 
tion, I  hereby  express  my  grateful  appreciation  of  kindness  shown. 
I  would  that  Admiral  John  Rodgers,  Commodore  H.  C.  Blake,  and 
Minister  F.  F.  Low  were  living  to  receive  my  thanks  for  their 
courtesies  personally  shown  me,  even  though,  in  attempting  to 
write  history,  I  have  made  criticisms  also.  To  Lieutenant  N.  Y. 
Yanagi,  of  the  Hyrographic  Bureau,  of  the  Japanese  Navy,  for  a 



set  of  charts  of  the  coast  of  Corea  ;  to  Mr.  Metcalfe,  of  Milwaukee, 
for  photographs  of  Coreans ;  to  Miss  Marshall,  of  New  York,  for 
making  colored  copies  of  the  battle-flags  captured  by  our  naval 
battalion  in  1871,  and  for  the  many  favors  of  correspondents — in  St. 
Petersburg,  Mr.  Hoffman  Atkinson ;  in  Peking,  Jugoi  Arinori 
Mori ;  in  Tokio,  Dr.  D.  B.  McCartee,  Hon.  David  Murray,  Kev. 
J.  L.  Amerman,  and  others  whose  names  I  need  not  mention.  To 
G<m.  George  W.  McCullum,  Vice-President,  and  to  Mr.  Leopold  Lin- 
da u,  Librarian,  of  the  American  Geographical  Society,  I  return  my 
warmest  thanks  ;  as  well  as  to  my  dear  wife  and  helpmeet,  for  her 
aid  in  copying,  proof-reading,  suggestions,  and  criticism  during  the 
pi  ogress  of  the  work. 

In  one  respect,  the  presentation  of  such  a  subject  by  a  compiler, 
while  shorn  of  the  fascinating  element  of  personal  experience,  has  an 
advantage  even  over  the  narrator  who  describes  a  country  through 
widen  he  has  travelled.  With  the  various  reports  of  many  wit- 
nesses, in  many  times  and  places,  before  him,  he  views  the  whole 
subject  and  reduces  the  many  impressions  of  detail  to  unity,  cor- 
recting one  by  the  other.  Travellers  usually  see  but  a  portion  of 
the  country  at  one  time.  The  compiler,  if  able  even  in  part  to  con- 
trol his  authorities,  and  if  anything  more  than  a  tyro  in  the  art 
of  literary  appraisement,  may  be  able  to  furnish  a  hand-book  of  in- 
formation more  valuable  to  the  general  reader. 

In  the  use  of  my  authorities  I  have  given  heed  to  Bacon's  ad- 
vice— tasting  some,  chewing  others,  and  swallowing  few.  In  ancient 
history,  original  authorities  have  been  sought,  and  for  the  story  of 
noodern  life,  only  the  reports  of  careful  eye-witnesses  have  been  set 
down  as  facts  ;  while  opinions  and  judgments  of  alien  occidentals 
concerning  Corean  social  life  are  rarely  borrowed  without  due 
flavoring  of  critical  salt. 

Corean  and  Japanese  life,  customs,  beliefs,  and  history  are  often 
n  (flections  one  of  the  other.  Much  of  what  is  reported  from  Corea, 
which  the  eye-witnesses  themselves  do  not  appear  to  understand, 
i^  perfectly  clear  to  one  familiar  with  Japanese  life  and  history. 
China,  Corea,  and  Japan  are  as  links  in  the  same  chain  of  civil- 
isation. Corea,  like  Cyprus  between  Egypt  and  Greece,  will  yet 


supply  many  missing  details  to  the  comparative  student  of  language, 
art,  science,  the  development  of  civilization,  and  the  distribution  ol 
life  on  the  globe. 

Some  future  writer,  with  more,  ability  and  space  at  command 
than  the  undersigned,  may  discuss  the  question  as  to  how  far  the 
opening  of  Corea  to  the  commerce  of  the  world  has  been  the  result 
of  internal  forces  ;  the  scholar,  by  his  original  research,  may  prepare 
the  materials  for  a  worthy  history  of  Corea  during  the  two  or  three 
thousand  years  of  her  history  ;  the  geologist  or  miner  may  deter- 
mine the  question  as  to  how  far  the  metallic  wealth  of  Corea  will 
affect  the  monetary  equilibrium  of  the  world.  The  missionary  has 
yet  to  prove  the  full  power  of  Christianity  upon  the  people— and 
before  Corean  paganism,  any  form  of  the  religion  of  Jesus,  Koman, 
Greek  or  Eeformed,  should  be  welcomed  ;  while  to  the  linguist,  the 
man  of  science,  and  the  political  economist,  the  new  country 
opened  by  American  diplomacy  presents  problems  of  profound  in- 

W.  E.  G. 

SCHENECTADY,  N.  Y.,  October  2,  1883. 


THE  following  is  a  list  of  books  and  papers  containing  information  about 
Corea.  Those  of  primary  value  to  which  the  compiler  of  this  work  is  specially 
iuc.ebted  are  marked  with  an  asterisk  (*) ;  those  to  which  slight  obligation,  if 
an;r,  is  acknowledged  with  a  double  asterisk  ;  and  those  which  he  has  not 
consulted,  with  a  dagger  (f).  See  also  under  THE  COREAN  LANGUAGE  and 
CARTOGRAPHY,  in  the  Appendix. 

*  History  of  the  Eastern  Barbarians.     "  Book  cxv.  contains  a  sketch  of  the 

tribes  and  nations  occupying  the  northeastern  seaboard  of  China,  with  the 
territory  now  known  as  Manchuria  and  Corea."  This  extract  from  a 
History  of  the  Later  Han  Dynasty  (25-220  A.D.),  by  a  Chinese  scholar  of 
the  fifth  century,  has  been  translated  into  English  by  Mr.  Alexander 
Wylie,  and  printed  in  the  Revue  de  1'Extreme  Orient,  No.  1,  1882.  Du 
Halde  and  De  Mailla,  in  French,  and  Ross,  in  English,  have  also  given 
the  substance  of  the  Chinese  writer's  work,  which  also  furnishes  the  basis 
of  Japanese  accounts  of  Corean  history  previous  to  the  fourth  century, 
f  The  Subjugation  of  Chaou-seen,  by  A.  Wylie.  (Atti  del  IV.  Cong.  int.  degli 
Orient,  ii.,  pp.  309-315,  1881.)  This  fragment  is  a  translation  of  the  95th 
book  of  the  History  of  the  Former  Han  Dynasty  of  China. 

*  Empire  de  la  Chine  et  la  Tartarie  Chinoise,  par  P.  du  Halde. 

*  The  Kojiki  and  Nihongi,   written  in  Japan   during  the   eighth   century, 

throws  much  light  on  the  early  history  of  Corea. 

*  Wakan-San-sai  Dzuye.     Article  on  Cho-sen  in  this  great  Japanese  Encyclo- 


f  Tong-Kuk  Tong-Kan  (General  View  of  the  Eastern  Kingdom),  a  native  Co« 
rean  history  written  in  Chinese. 

*  /jenrin  Koku  Hoki  (Precious  Jewels  from   a  Neighboring  Country),  by 

Shiuho.     Japan,  1586. 

*  Oorea,  its  History,  Manners,'  and  Customs,  by  John  Ross.    1  vol.,  pp.  404.    Il- 

lustrations and  maps.     Paisley,  1880. 

*'Che  Chinese  Reader's  Manual,  by  W.  Fred.  Mayers.  1  vol.,  pp.  440.  Shang- 
hae,  1874.  An  invaluable  epitome  of  Chinese  history,  biography,  chro- 
nology, bibliography,  and  whatever  is  of  interest  to  the  student  of 
Chinese  literature. 

*  55-cho  Rekidai  Enkaku  Zukai.      Historical  Periods  and  Changes  of  the 

Japanese  Empire,  with  maps  and  notes,  by  Otsuki  Toyo. 


**  San  Koku  Tsu-ran  To-setsu.  Mirror  of  the  Three  [Tributary]  Kingdoms, 
Cho-sen,  Kiu  kiu,  and  Yezo,  by  Rin  Shihei,  1785.  This  work,  with  its 
maps,  was  translated  into  French  by  J.  Klaproth,  and  published  in  Paris, 
1832.  1  vol.  8vo,  pp.  288,  of  which  pp.  158  relate  to  Cho-sen.  Digested 
also  in  Siebold's  Archiv. 

**Archiv  zur  Bescriebung  von  Japan,  by  Franz  von  Siebold.  This  colossal 
work  contains  much  matter  in  text  and  illustrations  relating  to  Corea,  and 
the  digest  of  several  Japanese  books,  in  the  part  entitled  Nachrichten 
uber  Korai,  Japan's  Beziige  mit  der  Koraischen  Halbinsel  und  mit  Schina. 

**  Corea  und  dessen  Einfluss  auf  die  Be volkerung  Japans.  Zeit.  fiir  Ethnol- 
ogic, Zitzungbericht  VIII.  p.  78,  1876.  P.  Kempermann. 

**  O  Dai  Ichi  Ran.  This  work,  containing  the  annals  of  the  emperors  of  Ja- 
pan, is  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  principal  events  in  Japanese  history,  written 
in  the  style  of  an  almanac,  which  Titsingh  copied  down  from  translations 
made  by  Japanese  who  spoke  Dutch.  Klaproth  revised  and  corrected 
Titsingh's  work,  and  published  his  own  version  in  1834.  Paris  and  Lon- 
don, 8vo,  pp.  460.  This  work  contains  many  references  to  Corea  and  the 
relations  of  the  two  countries,  transcribed  from  the  older  history. 

**  Tableaux  Historiques  de  1'Asie,  depuis  la  monarchie  de  Cyrus  j  usque  nos 
jours,  accompagnes  de  recherches  historiques  et  ethnographiques,  etc. 
Par  J.  Klaproth,  Paris,  1826.  Avec  un  atlas  in  folio.  This  manual  of 
the  political  geography  of  Asia  is  very  useful,  but  not  too  accurate. 

f  A  Heap  of  Jewels  in  a  Sea  of  Learning  (Gei  Kai  Shu  Jin  ;  Jap.  pron.).  A 
chapter  from  this  Chinese  book  treats  of  Corea. 

f  Cho-sen  Hitsu  Go-shin.  A  collection  of  conversations  with  the  pen,  with  a 
Corean  who  could  not  speak  Japanese.  By  Ishikawa  Rokuroku  Sanjin, 

*  The  Classical  Poetry  of  the  Japanese.     By  Basil  Hall  Chamberlain.     Lon- 

don, 1880. 

**  An  Outline  History  of  Japanese  Education,  New  York,  1876.  This  mono- 
graph, prepared  for  the  Centennial  Exposition  at  Philadelphia,  reviews 
the  educational  influences  of  Corea  upon  Japan.  The  information  given 
is,  with  other  data,  from  Klaproth,  utilized  in  Pickering's  Chronological 
History  of  Plants,  by  Charles  Pickering,  M.D.,  Boston,  1879. 

*  Japanese  Chronological  Tables.     By  William  Bramsen,  Tokio,  1880.     An  in- 

valuable essay  on  Japanese  chronology,  which  was,  like  the  Corean,  based 
on  the  Chinese  system.  We  have  used  this  work  of  the  lamented  scholar 
(who  died  a  few  months  after  it  was  published)  in  rendering  dates  ex- 
pressed in  terms  of  the  Chinese  into  those  of  the  Gregorian  or  modern 

**  History  of  the  Mongols.  3  vols.  pp.  1827.  London,  1876.  By  Henry  Ho  worth. 
This  portly  work  is  full  of  the  fruits  of  research  concerning  the  people 
led  by  Genghis  Khan.  It  contains  excellent  maps  of  Asia,  and  of  Mon- 
golia, and  Manchuria,  illustrating  the  Mongol  conquests. 

f  Cho-sen  Ki-che.  (Memorandum  upon  Corean  Aff airs. )  The  Chinese  ambassa- 
dor sent  by  the  Ming  emperor  in  1450,  gives  in  this  little  work  an  account 
of  his  journey,  which  throws  light  upon  the  political  and  geographical 
situation  of  Cho-sen  and  China  at  that  time.  Quoted  by  M.  Scherzer,  but 
not  translated. 


*  N  hon  Guaishi.     Military   History   of  Japan,   by   Rai  Sanyo.     This  is  the 

Japanese  standard  history.  It  was  published  in  1827  in  twenty-two  vol- 
umes. It  covers  the  period  from  the  Taira  and  Minamoto  families  to  that 
of  the  Tokugawa  in  the  seventeenth  century.  The  first  part  of  this  work 
was  translated  into  English  by  Mr.  Ernest  Satow,  and  published  in  The 
Japan  Mail  at  Yokohama,  1872-74.  In  the  latter  portion  the  invasion  of 
Clio-sen,  1592-97,  is  outlined. 

*Ct.6-sen  Seito  Shimatsuki.  A  work  in  five  volumes,  giving  an  account  of 
the  embassies,  treaties,  documents  relating  to  the  invasion  of  1592-97, 
with  an  outline  of  the  war,  geographical  notes,  with  nine  maps  by  Yama- 
zaki  Masanagi  and  Miura  Katsuyoshi. 

*  Illustrated  History   of  the   Invasion   of  Cho-sen.     Written  by  Tsurumine 

Hikoichiro.  Illustrations  by  Hashimoto  Giokuron.  20  vols.  Yedo,  1853. 
This  popular  work,  besides  an  outline  of  Corean  history  from  the  beginning, 
condensed  from  local  legends  and  Chinese  writers,  details  the  operations 
of  war  and  diplomacy  relating  to  Hideyoshi's  invasion.  It  is  copiously 
illustrated  with  first-class  wood  engravings.  It  has  not  been  translated. 

*  CL6-sen  Monogatari.    A  Diary  and  Narrative  of  the  Japanese  Military  Opera- 

tions in  Cho-sen  during  the  Campaign  of  1594-97,  by  Okoji  Hidemoto. 
Copied  out  and  published  in  1672,  and  again  in  1849.  This  narrative  of 
an  eye-witness  was  written  by  the  author  at  the  time  of  the  events  de- 
scribed, and  afterward  copied  by  his  own  son  and  deposited  in  the  temple 
at  which  his  ancestors  worshipped.  This  vivid  and  spirited  story  of  the 
second  invasion  of  Cho-sen  by  Hideyoshi  has  been  translated  into  German 
by  Dr.  A.  Pfizmaier,  under  the  title  Der  Feldzug  der  Japaner  gegen  Corea, 
im  Jahre,  1597.  2  vols.  Vienna,  1875  :  4to,  pp.  98  ;  1876  :  4to,  pp.  58. 
**  C  hohitsuroku.  History  of  the  Embassies,  Treaties,  and  War  Operations 
during  the  Japanese  Invasion.  This  work  is  by  a  Corean  author,  who 
was  one  of  the  ministers  of  the  king  throughout  the  war.  It  is  written 
in  Chinese,  has  a  map,  and  gives  the  Corean  side  of  the  history  of  affairs 
from  about  1585  to  1598.  3  vols. 

*  Three   Severall   Testimonies  Concerning   the   mighty   Kingdom  of  Coray, 

tributary  to  the  Kingdom  of  China,  and  bordering  upon  her  Northeastern 
Frontiers,  and  called  by  the  Portugales,  Coria,  etc.,  etc.,  collected  out  of 
Portugale  yeerely  Japonian  Epistles,  dated  1590,  1592,  1594.  In  Hak- 
luyt,  London,  1600. 

*  Hideyoshi's  Invasion  of  Korea.     Trans.  Asiatic  Society  of  Japan.     By  W.  G. 

Aston.     In  these  papers  Mr:  Aston  gives  the  results  of  a  study  of  the  cam- 
paign of  1592-97,  as  found  in  Japanese  and  Corean  authors. 
**  I  ettre  Annuelle  de  Mars  1593,  ecrite  par  le  P.  Pierre  Gomez  au  P.  Claude 
Acquavira,  general  de  la  Compagnie  de  Jesus.     Milan,  1597,  p.   112  et 
suiv.     In  Hakluyt. 

*  Hi  stoire  de  la  Religion  Chretienne  au  Japon.     Par  Leon  Pages.     2  vols. , 

text  and  documents.     Paris,  1869. 
**  Histoire  des  deux  Conquerans  Tartares,  qui  ont  subjuge  la  Chine,  par  le  R. 

P.  Pierre  Joseph  D'Orliens. 
*Cho-sen  Monogatari  (Romantic  Narrative  of  Travels  in  Corea),  by  two  Men 

from  Mikuni,  in  Echizen,  cast  ashore  in  Tartary  in  1645.     This  work  is 

digested  in  Siebold's  Archiv. 


*  Narrative  of  an  Unlucky  Voyage  and  Imprisonment  in  Corea,  1653-16US, 

In  Astley's  and  Pinkerton's  Voyages.     By  Hendrik  Hamel.  s 

*  Imperial  Chinese  Atlas,  containing  maps  of  China  and  each  of  the  Provinces, 

including  Shing-king  and  the  neutral  strip. 

*  Histoire  de  PEglise  de  Coree,  par  Ch.  Dallet.     2  vols.  8vo,  pp.  982.     Paris, 

1874.  This  excellent  work  contains  192  pages  of  introduction,  full  of  ac- 
curate information  concerning  the  political  social  life,  geography,  and 
language  of  Corea,  and  a  history  of  the  introduction  and  progress  of  Ro- 
man Christianity,  and  the  labors  of  the  French  missionaries,  from  1784- 
1866.  It  contains  also  a  map  and  four  charts  of  Corean  writing. 

*  Une  Expedition  en  Coree.     In  la  Tour  du  Monde  for  1873  there  is  an  ar- 

ticle of  16  pp.  (401-417)  with  illustrations,  by  M.  H.  Zuber,  a  French 
naval  officer,  who  was  in  Corea  in  1866  under  Admiral  Roze.  An  excel- 
lent descriptive  paper  by  an  eye-witness. 

*  Diary  of  a  Chinese  Envoy  to  Corea  (Journal  d'une  Mission  en  Coree),  by 

Koei  Ling,  Ambassador  of  his  Majesty  the  Emperor  of  China,  to  the  court 
of  Cho-sen  in  1866.  Translated  from  the  Chinese  into  French  by  F. 
Scherzer,  Interpreter  to  the  French  Legation  at  Peking.  8vo,  pp.  77. 
Paris,  1882.  This  journal  of  the  last  Chinese  ambassador  to  Seoul  is  well 
rendered,  and  is  copiously  supplied  with  explanatory  notes,  and  a  colored 
map  of  the  author's  route  from  Peking  through  Chili,  Shing-King,  ma 
Mukden,  and  through  three  provinces  of  Corea  to  Seoul. 

f  Many  memoirs  and  special  papers  prepared  by  French  officers  in  the  expedi- 
tion to  Corea  in  1866  were  prepared  and  read  before  local  societies  at 
Cherbourg,  Lyons,  etc. 

f  Expedition  de  Coree.  Revue  maritime  et  coloniale,  February,  1867,  pp. 

f  Paris  Moniteur,  1866-67. 

**  Lettre  sur  la  Coree  et  son  Eglise  Chretienne.  Bulletin  de  la  Societe 
Geographique  de  Lyon,  1876,  pp.  278-282,  and  June,  1870,  pp.  417-422, 
and  map. 

**  The  Corean  Martyrs.  By  Canon  Shortland.  1  vol.,  pp.  115.  London.  Com- 
piled from  the  letters  of  the  French  missionaries. 

**Nouvelle  Geographic  Universelle.  This  superb  treasury  of  geographical 
science,  still  unfinished,  contains  a  full  summary  of  our  knowledge  of  Corea, 
especially  showing  the  prominent  part  which  French  navigators,  scholars, 
and  missionaries  have  taken  in  its  exploration.  Paris. 

**  Voyage  of  Discovery  to  the  North  Pacific  Ocean  and  Round  the  World.  By 
William  R.  Broughton.  2  vols.  4to,  with  atlas.  London,  1804. 

**  Voyage  Round  the  World.  By  Jean  FranQois  de  Gallou  de  La  Perouse. 
London,  1799. 

**  Voyages  to  the  Eastern  Seas  in  the  year  1818.  By  Basil  Hall.  New  York, 
London,  and  revised  by  Captain  Hall  in  1827.  Jamaica,  N.  Y. 

*  Narrative  of  a  Voyage  in  His  Majesty's  late  Ship  Alceste,  to  the  Yellow  Sea, 

along  the  Coast  of  Corea,  and  through  its  numerous  hitherto  undiscovered 
Islands,  etc.,  etc.  By  John  McLeod,  Surgeon  of  the  Alceste.  1  vol.,  pp. 
288  (see  pp.  38-53).  London,  1877.  A  witty  and  lively  narrative. 

*  *  Voyages  along  the  Coast  of  China  (Corea),  etc.  By  Charles  Gutzlaff .  1  vol. ,  pp. 

332.     New  York,  1833.     (From  July  17,  to  August  17,  1832  ;  pp.  254-287.) 


•Vsirrative  of  the  Voyage  of  H.M.S.  Samarang,  during  the  years  1843-46. 
By  Captain  Sir  E.  Belcher.  2  vols.  8vo,  pp.  574-378.  London,  1848. 
Vol.  i.  pp.  324-358;  vol.  ii.,  pp.  444-466,  relate  to  Corea. 

*  American  Commerce  with  China.     By  Gideon  Nye,  Esq.     In  the  Far  East. 

Shanghae,  1878.  A  history  of  the  commercial  relations  of  the  United 
States  with  China,  especially  before  1800. 

*  Diplomatic  Correspondence  of  the  United  States,  China,  and  Japan,  1866-81. 

*  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Navy  to  Congress,  pp.  275-313.     1872. 

*  Pi  ivate  Notes,  Charts,  and  Maps  of  Officers  of  the  United  States  Navy  who 

were  in  Corea  in  1871. 
**A  Summer  Dream  of '71.  A  Story  of  Corea.  By  T.  G.  The  Far  East. 

Shanghae,  April,  1878. 
*Jcurney  through  Eastern  Mantchooria  and  Korea.  By  Walton  Grinnell. 

Journal  American  Geographical  Society,  1870-71,  pp.  283-300. 

*  Japan  and  Corea.      A  valuable  monograph  in  six  chapters,  by  Mr.  E.  H. 

House,  in  The  Tokio  Times,  1877. 
**  On  a  Collection  of  Crustacea  made  in  the  Corean  and  Japanese  Seas.     J. 

Muirs,  1879.     London  Zoological  Society's   Proceedings  (pp.    18-81,    pis. 

1-113).      Reviewed  by  J.    S.    Kingsley.      Norwich,   N.    Y.      American 


**  A  Private  Trip  in  Corea.     By  Frank  Cowan,  M.D.     The  Japan  Mail,  1880. 
f  The  Leading  Men  of  Japan.     By  Charles  Lanman.     Boston,  1882.     Contains 

a  chapter  on  Corea. 

*  Manuscript  volume  of  pencil  notes  made  by  Kawamura  Kuanshiu,  an  officer 

on  the  Japanese  gunboat  Unyo-kuan,  during  her  cruise  and  capture  of 
the  Kang-wa  Fort,  1875.  Partly  printed  in  the  Japan  Mail. 

*  Journals  of  Japanese  Military  and  Diplomatic  Officers  who  have  visited  Corea, 

and  Correspondence  of  the  Japanese  newspapers,  from  Seoul,  Fusan,  Gen- 
san,  etc.  These  have  been  partly  translated  for  the  English  press  at  Yo- 

*  Correspondence,  Notes,  Editorials,  etc. ,  in  the  English  and  French  newspa- 

pers published  in  China  and  Japan. 
**  Maru-maru  Shimbun  (Japanese  Punch). 

*  Clio-sen  :  Its  Eight  Administrative  Divisions.     1  vol.     Tokio,  Japan,  1882. 

*  Clio-sen  Jijo.     A  short  Account  of  Corea,  its  History,  Productions,  etc.     2 

vols.     T5ki6,  1875. 

*  Cho-sen  Bunkenroku  (Things  Seen  and  Heard  concerning  Corea).     By  Sato 

Hakushi.     2  vols.     Tokio,  1875. 

*  Travels  of  a  Naturalist  in  Japan  [Corea]  and  Manchuria.    By  Arthur  Adams. 

1  vol.,  pp.  334.     London,  1870.     See  chaps,  x.,  xi.,  pp.  125-166. 

**  Ueber  die  Reise  der  Kais.  Corvette  Hertha,  in  besondere  nach  Corea. 
Kramer,  Marine  Prediger.  Zeit.  fur  Ethnologie,  1873.  Verhandlungen, 
pp.  49-54. 

**  A  Forbidden  Land.  By  Ernest  Oppert.  1  vol. ,  pp.  349.  Illustrations, 
charts,  etc.  New  York,  1880. 

**  Journeys  in  North  China.  By  Rev.  A.  Williamson.  2  vols.  16mo.  Lon- 
don, 1870.  Besides  a  chapter  on  Corea,  this  work  contains  an  excellent 
map  of  the  country  north  and  east  of  Cho-sen 

**  The  Middle  Kingdom.     By  S.  Wells  Williams. 


**  Consular  Reports  in  the  Blue  Books  of  the  British  Government,  especially 
the  Reports  of  Mr.  McPherson,  Consul  at  Niu-chwang.     January,  1866. 

*  Handbook  for  Central  and  Northern  Japan,  with  maps  and  plans.     Satow 

and  Hawes.     1  vol.  16mo,  pp.  489.     This  work,  which  leaves  nothing  to 

be  desired  as  a  guide-book,  contains  several  references  to  Corean  art  and 

**  The  Wild  Coasts  of  Nipon.     By  Captain  H.  C.  St.  John  (who  surveyed  some 

parts  of  Southern  Corea  in  H.B.M.S.  Sylvia).    See  chap,  xii.,  pp.  235-255, 

with  a  map  of  Corea. 
**  Darlegun  aus  der  Geschichte  und  Geographie  Coreas.     Pfizmaier.    8vo,  pp. 

56.     Vienna,  1874. 

f  Petermann's  Mittheilungen,  No.  1,  Carte  No.  19,  1871. 
**  Das  Konigreich  Korea.     Von  Kloden.     Aus  alien  Welth.,  x.,  Nos.  5  u.  6. 
f  Corea.     Geographical  Magazine.     (S.  Mossman.)  vi.  p.  148,  1877. 
f  Corea.     By  Captain  Allen  Young,  Royal  Geographical  Society.     Vol.  ix.,  No. 

6,  pp.  296-300. 
** China,  with  an  Appendix  on  Corea.     By  Charles  Eden.     1  vol.,  pp.  281- 

322.     London.     A  popular  compilation. 

**  Korea  and  the  Lost  Tribes,  and  Map  and  Chart  of  Korea.     Text  and  illus- 
trations.    The  title  of  this  work  is  sufficient.     Even  the  bibliography  of 

Corea  has  a  comic  side. 
**  Chi-shima  (Kurile  Islands)  and  Russian  Invasion.     A  lecture  delivered  in 

Japanese,  before  the  Tokio  United  Geographical  Society,  February  24, 

1882.     By  Admiral  Enomoto.     This  valuable  historical  treatise,  translated 

for  the  Japan  Mail  and  Japan  Herald,  contains  much  information  about 

Russian  operations  in  the  countries  bordering  the  North  Pacific  and  the 

Coreans  north  of  the  Tumen. 
f  Bulletin  de  la  Societe  Geographique,  1875.     Corean  villages  in  the  Russian 

possessions  described. 

**  Ravensteins,  The  Russians  on  the  Amoor.     London,  1861. 
fDie  Insel  Quelpart.     Deutsche  Geogr.  Blatter,  1879.     iii.,  No.  1,  S.  45-46. 
j  A  Trip  to  Quelpaert.     Nautical  Magazine,  1870,  No.  4,  p.  321-325. 
**  The  Edinburgh  Review  of  1872,  and  Fortnightly  Review  of  1875,  contain 

articles  on  Corea. 
*The   Missionary  Record   of  the  United  Presbyterian   Church  of  Scotland, 

Edinburgh,  containing  the  Correspondence  and  Notes  of  the  Missionaries 

laboring  among  the  Chinese  and  Coreans,  and  who  have  translated  the 

New  Testament  into  Corean. 
f  La  Coree,  par  M.  Paul  Tournafond,  editor  of  L'Exploration,  a  geographical 

journal  published  in  Paris,  which  contains  frequent  notes  on  Corea. 
f  La  Coree,  ses  Ressources,    son   avenir  commercial,   par  Maurice   Jametel. 

L'Economiste  Frangais,  Juillet  23,  1881. 

*  The  Japan  Herald,  The  Japan  Mail,  The  Japan  Gazette,  L'Echo  du  Japan, 

of  Yokohama,  and  North  China  Herald,  Shanghae,  have  furnished  much 

information  concerning  recent  events  in  Corea. 

Corea,  the  Last  of  the  Hermit  Nations.  Sunday  Magazine,  New  York,  May,  1878. 
Corea  and  the  United  States.     The  Independent,  New  York,  Nov.  17,  1881. 
Corea,  the  Hermit  Nation.     Bulletin  of  the  American  Geographical  Society, 

New  York,  1881,  No.  3. 


Chautauqua  Text-Books,  No.  34.    Asiatic  History  ;  China,  Corea,  Japan.    16mo, 

pp.  86.     New  York,  1881. 
Library  of  Universal  Knowledge,  articles  Corea,  Fusan,  Gensan,  Kang-wa,  etc. 

New  York,  1880. 

Cyclopaedia  of  Political  Science,  etc.,  article  Corea.     Chicago,  1881. 
The  Corean  Origin  of  Japanese  Art.     Century  Magazine.     December,  1882. 

By  Wm.  Elliot  Griffis. 


IN  the  transliteration  of  Corean  names  into  English,  an  attempt  has  been 
made  to  render  them  in  as  accurate  and  simple  a  manner  as  is,  under  the  cir- 
cumstances, possible.  The  Coreans  themselves  have  no  uniform  system  of 
spel  ling  proper  names,  nor  do  the  French  missionaries  agree  in  their  render- 
ings— as  a  comparison  of  their  maps  and  writings  shows.  Our  aim  in  this 
work  has  been  to  use  as  few  letters  as  possible. 

Japanese  words  are  all  pronounced  according  to  the  European  method — a  as 
injatfier,  e  as  in  prey,  e  as  in  men,  i  as  in  machine,  o  as  in  bone,  u  as  in  tune,  u 
as  ia  sun;  ai  as  in  aisle,  ua  as  in  quarantine,  ei  as  \nfeign,  and  iu  is  sounded 
as  yu ;  g  is  always  hard ;  and  c  before  a  vowel,  g  soft,  I,  q,  s  used  as  z,  x,  and 
the  combinations  ph  and  th  are  not  used.  The  long  vowel,  rather  diphthong  o, 
or  clw,  is  marked  0. 

The  most  familiar  Chinese  names  are  retained  in  their  usual  English  form. 

Gorean  words  are  transliterated  on  the  same  general  principles  as  the  Japa- 
Aeso,  though  ears  familiar  with  Corean  will  find  the  obscure  sound  between 
o  and  short  u  is  written  with  either  of  these  letters,  as  Chan-yon,  or  In-chiiin, 
or  Kiung-sang.  Ch  may  sometimes  be  used  instead  ofj;  and  e  where  o  or  a 
or  v,  might  more  correctly  be  used,  as  in  Kang-wen,  or  Wen-chiu.  Instead  of 
the  French  ou.  or  ho,  we  have  written  W,  as  in  Whang-hai,  Kang-wa,  rather 
than  Hoang-hai,  Kang-hoa,  Kang-ouen,  Tai-ouen  Kun,  etc.  ;  and  in  place  of 
ts  we  have  used  ch,  as  Kwang-chiu  rather  than  Kwang-tsiu,  and  Wen-chiu 
thaa  Ouen-tsiu. 


Ancestral  Seats  of  the  Fuyu  Race,     ....        .        .        .  ,    -  v        .25 

Sam-han,   .        .        ...         .        .        •        •        .        .        .       '/       .     30 

Ancient  Japan  and  Corea,  .  .        .        .        .     ...        .        .     56 

The  Neutral  Territory,        ,         .         ..        .      .  v.      .         ..      .     ;,.         -85 

The  Japanese  Military  Operations  of  1592,         .        .        .        .  .    • .        .99 

The  Campaign  in  the  North,  1592-1593,    .         .        .        .         .        .         .  107 

The  Operations  of  the  Second  Invasion,     .         . 131 

Plan  of  Uru-san  Castle,       .  .       '.        .        ...         .        .        .  138 

Home  of  the  Manchlus  and  their  Migrations, 155 

The  Jesuit  Survey  of  1709, 165 

Ping-an  Province,      .         .         .         .         .         .         .  .         .         .181 

The  Yellow  Sea  Province, 185 

The  Capital  Province, .188 

Military  Geography  of  Seoul, .         .         .190 

Chung-chong  Province,      .         .         .  .         .         .         .         .         .  194 

Chulla-dd, 199 

The  Province  Nearest  Japan,      .........  204 

Kang-wen  Province,  ..........  208 

Corean  Frontier  Facing  Manchuria  and  Russia,          .....  210 

Southern  Part  of  Ham-kiung, 215 

The  Missionary's  Gateway  into  Corea, \         .  364 

Border  Towns  of  Northern  Corea, V      .  365 

The  French  Naval  and  Military  Operations,  1866,      .         .         .        .  \     .  379 
Map  Illustrating  the  "  General  Sherman "  Affair,       .         .         .         .\.393 

Map  Illustrating  the  "  China  "  Affair, V.  400 

Map  of  the  American  Naval  Operations  in  1871,        .        .         .  j  .  415 

GENERAL  MAP  OF  COKEA, At  end  of  volume 





The  Corean  Peninsula,       .         .         .         .        .         .        .  . "      .       1 

The  Old  Kingdom  of  Clio-sen,  11 

The  Fuyu  Race  and  their  Migrations, 19 

San  -han,  or  Southern  Corea, 30 


Epc  ch  of  the  Three  Kingdoms.  — Hiaksai,  ......     35 

Epoch  of  the  Three  Kingdoms.— Korai, 40 

Ep«ch  of  the  Three  Kingdoms.— Shinra, 45 

Jaj  an  and  Corea,       .        .         .        .        .    •    .        .   '     •        .        .        .51 

xxvi  CONTENTS. 



Korai,  or  United  Corea, 63 


Cathay,  Zipangu,  and  the  Mongols,  ......  70 


NewCho-sen, 76 

Events  Leading  to  the  Japanese  Invasion,          .         .         .         .         .         .88 


The  Invasion — On  to  Seoul,       .         .         ,-•••      ,         <;        .         .         .'       .    95 

The  Campaign  in  the  North,       .         .......         .  104 


The  Retreat  from  Seoul,     .         .         .         V        ,         .         .        >         .         .115 


Cespedes,  the  Christian  Chaplain, 121 


Diplomacy  at  Kioto  and  Peking, .  124 

The  Second  Invasion, 129 


The  Siege  of  TJru-san  Castle, 137 


Changes  after  the  Invasion,        . .145 

The  Issachar  of  Eastern  Asia, .        .154 

The  Dutchmen  in  Exile,     .        . 167 





The  Eight  Provinces,          .         ..,,-.;?.:-.         .         .         .         .  179 


The  King  and  Royal  Palace,       ./.;«;..        .         .         .         .  218 


Political  Parties,          .         .         .         .         .   T      . -'      .         .         .         .         .  224 


Org  mization  and  Methods  of  Government,         ......  230 

Feudalism,  Serfdom,  and  Society,      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .  237 


Soc  al  Life. — Woman  and  the  Family, .  244 

Chid  Life, 256 


Housekeeping,  Diet,  and  Costume,     .         .         .         .         ';         .,       .         .  262 


Mo  irning  and  Burial, 277 


Out -door  Life. — Characters  and  Employments, 284 

V    Shi  manism  and  Mythical  Zoology,     ...'....  300 




Legends  and  Folk-lore, 307 

Proverbs  and  Pithy  Sayings, 317 

.                                                       CHAPTER   XXXVI. 
J      The  Corean  Tiger, 320 

J     Religion, .         .326 

Education  and  Culture,      .         .         ." 337 




The  Beginnings  of  Christianity— 1784-1794, 347 

Persecution  and  Martyrdom— 1801-1834, 353 


The  Entrance  of  the  French  Missionaries— 1835-1845,       .         .         .         .361 

The  Walls  of  Isolation  Sapped, 367 

The  French  Expedition, 377 


American  Relations  with  Corea, 388 



A  Body-Snatching  Expedition, 


Our  Little  War  with  the  Heathen,      .         .         .         .        .         .         .         .403 


The  Ports  Opened  to  Japanese  Commerce,          ......  420 

Tho  Year  of  the  Treaties,  .         ...  .433 





INDEX,  .  .469 


City  of  Seoul, ,  .        .        .     Frcmtispiece. 

Corean  Coin, -^         .10 

Coin  of  Modern  Cho-sen,    .         .      '.         .         .'*.;'.'      \        .         .18 
The  Founder  of  Fuyu  Crossing  the  Sungari  River,    .         .         .         .         .20 

Coin  of  the  Sam-han,  or  the  Three  Kingdoms,  .         .         .         .         .34 

CoinofKorai,    .         .         .         .      •  .        .         .        v"J  '•.;-  f.  <- :-^        .     69 

Two-masted  Corean  Vessel,         .  •    '  .*  "'./•.  .     75 

The  Walls  of  Seoul,    .         .         ..........    •  %    -        -         .        .79 

Magistrate  and  Servant,      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         ,81 

Corean  Knight  of  the  Sixteenth  Century, 101 

Styles  of  Hair-dressing  in  Corea, 161 

A  Pleasure-party  on  the  River, 196 

Corean  Village  in  Russian  Territory, 211 

Table  Spread  for  Festal  Occasions, 264 

Gentlemen's  Garments  and  Dress  Patterns,         ......  275 

Thatched  House  near  Seoul,       .         .         . ' 282 

Battle-flag  Captured  by  the  Americans  in  1871, 305 

Battle-flag  Captured  in  the  Han  Forts,  1871, 320 

House  and  Garden  of  a  Noble,  .        : 355 

Breech-loading  Cannon  of  Corean  Manufacture, 382 

The  Entering  Wedge  of  Civilization, 407 



I  CO  RE  A: 




COKEA,  though  unknown  even  by  name  in  Europe  until  the  six- 
teenth century,  was  the  subject  of  description  by  Arab  geogra- 
phers of  the  middle  ages.  Before  the  peninsula  was  known  as  a 
political  unit,  the  envoys  of  Shinra,  one  of  the  three  Corean  states, 
and  those  from  Persia  met  face  to  face  before  the  throne  of  China. 
The  Arab  merchants  trading  to  Chinese  ports  crossed  the  Yellow 
Sea.  visited  the  peninsula,  and  even  settled  there.  The  youths  of 
Shinra,  sent  by  their  sovereign  to  study  the  arts  of  war  and  peace 
at  Nanking,  the  mediaeval  capitol  of  China,  may  often  have  seen  and 
talked  with  the  merchants  of  Bagdad  and  Damascus.  The  Corean 
term  for  Mussulmans  is  hoi-hoi,  "  round  and  round  "  men.  Corean 
art  shows  the  undoubted  influence  of  Persia. 

A  very  interesting  passage  in  the  chronicles  of  Japan,  while 
illustrating  the  sensitive  regard  of  the  Japanese  for  the  forms  of 
etiqaette,  shows  another  point  of  contact  between  Corean  and 
Saracen  civilization.  It  occurs  in  the  Nihon  O  Dai  Ichi  Ban,  or 
"A  View  of  the  Imperial  Family  of  Japan."  "  In  the  first  month 
of  the  sixth  year  of  Tempio  Shoho  [February,  754  A.D.],  the  Japan- 
ese nobles  Ohan  no  Kornaro  and  Kibi  no  Mabi  returned  from 
China,  in  which  country  they  had  left  Fujiwara  no  Seiga.  The 
f orn  ier  reported  that  at  the  audience  which  they  had  of  the  Em- 
peror Gen-sho,  on  New  Year's  Day  [January  18th],  the  ambassadors 

2  COREA. 

of  Towan  [Thibet]  occupied  the  first  place,  to  the  west,  those  from 
Shinra  the  first  place  to  the  east,  and  that  the  second  place  to  the 
west  had  been  destined  for  them  (the  Japanese  envoys),  and  the 
second  place  to  the  east  for  the  ambassadors  of  the  Kingdom 
of  Dai  Shoku  [Persia,  then  part  of  the  empire  of  the  Caliphs]. 
Komaro,  offended  with  this  arrangement,  asked  why  the  Chinese 
should  give  precedence  over  them  to  the  envoys  of  Shinra,  a  state 
which  had  long  been  tributary  to  Japan.  The  Chinese  officials, 
impressed  alike  with  the  firmness  and  displeasure  exhibited  by 
Komaro,  assigned  to  the  Japanese  envoys  a  place  above  those  of 
Persia  and  to  the  envoys  of  Shinra  a  place  above  those  of  Thibet." 

Thus  the  point  at  issue  was  settled,  by  avoiding  it,  and  assign- 
ing equal  honor  to  Shinra  and  Japan. 

This  incident  alone  shows  that  close  communications  were  kept 
up  between  the  far  east  and  the  west  of  Asia,  and  that  Corea  was 
known  beyond  Chinese  Asia.  At  that  time  the  boundaries  of  the 
two  empires,  the  Arab  and  the  Chinese,  touched  each  other. 

The  first  notice  of  Corea  in  western  books  or  writings  occurs  in 
the  works  of  Khordadbeh,  an  Arab  geographer  of  the  ninth  century, 
in  his  Book  of  Roads  and  Provinces.  He  is  thus  quoted  by  Rich- 
thofen  in  his  work  on  China  (p.  575,  note) : 

"  What  lies  on  the  other  side  of  China  is  unknown  land.  But 
high  mountains  rise  up  densely  across  from  Kantu.  These  lie  over 
in  the  land  of  Sila,  which  is  rich  in  gold.  Mussulmans  who  visit 
this  country  often  allow  themselves,  through  the  advantages  of  the 
same,  to  be  induced  to  settle  here.  They  export  from  thence  gin- 
seng, deerhorn,  aloes,  camphor,  nails,  saddles,  porcelain,  satin, 
zimmit  (cinnamon?)  and  galanga  (ginger?)." 

Richthofen  rightly  argues  that  Sila  is  Shinra  and  Kantu  is  the 
promontory  province  of  Shantung.  This  Arabic  term  "Sila"  is  a 
corruption  of  Shinra — the  predominant  state  in  Corea  at  the  time 
of  Khordadbeh. 

The  name  of  this  kingdom  was  pronounced  by  the  Japanese, 
Shinra,  and  by  the  Chinese,  Sinlo — the  latter  easily  altered  in 
Arabic  mouths  to  Sila. 

The  European  name  Corea  is  derived  from  the  Japanese  term 
Korai  (Chinese  Kaoli),  the  name  of  another  state  in  the  peninsula, 
rival  to  Shinra.  It  was  also  the  official  title  of  the  nation  from  the 
eleventh  to  the  fourteenth  century.  The  Portuguese,  who  were  the 
first  navigators  of  the  Yellow  Sea,  brought  the  name  to  Europe, 
calling  the  country  Coria,  whence  the  English  Corea. 


The  French  Jesuits  at  Peking  Gallicized  this  into  Coree.  Fol- 
lowing the  genius  of  their  language,  they  call  it  La  Coree,  just  as 
they  speak  of  England  as  L' Angle  terre,  Germany  as  L'Allemande, 
and  America  as  L'Amerique.  Hence  has  arisen  the  curious  desig- 
nation, used  even  by  English  writers,  of  this  peninsula  as  "the 
Corea."  But  what  is  good  French  in  this  case  is  very  bad  English, 
and  we  should  no  more  say  "the  Corea"  than  "the  Germany," 
"the  England,"  or  "the  America."  English  usage  forbids  the 
employment  of  the  definite  article  before  a  proper  name,  and  those 
writers  who  persist  in  prefixing  the  definite  article  to  the  proper 
name  Corea  are  either  ignorant  of  the  significance  of  the  word,  or 
knowingly  violate  the  laws  of  the  English  language.  The  native 
name  of  the  country  is  Cho-sen  (Morning  Calm  or  Fresh  Morning), 
which  French  writers,  always  prodigal  in  the  use  of  vowels,  spell 
Tsio-sen,  Teo-cen,  or  Tchao-sian.  The  Chinese  call  it  Tung-kwo 
(Eastern  Kingdom),  and  the  Manchius,  Sol-ho  or  Solbo. 

The  peninsula,  with  its  outlying  islands,  is  nearly  equal  in  size 
to  Minnesota  or  to  Great  Britain.  Its  area  is  between  eighty  and 
ninety  thousand  square  miles.  Its  coast  line  measures  1,740  miles. 
In  general  shape  and  relative  position  to  the  Asian  Continent  it 
resembles  Florida.  It  hangs  down  between  the  Middle  Kingdom 
and  the  Sunrise  Land,  separating  the  sea  of  Japan  and  the  Yellow 
Sea,  between  the  34th  and  43d  parallels  of  north  latitude.  In  its 
general  configuration,  when  looked  at  from  the  westward  on  a  good 
map,  especially  the  magnificent  one  made  by  the  Japanese  War 
Department,  Cho-sen  resembles  the  outspread  wings  of  a  headless 
butterfly,  the  lobes  of  the  wings  being  toward  China,  and  their  tops 
toward  Japan. 

Legend,  tradition,  and  geological  indications  lead  us  to  believe 
that  anciently  the  Chinese  promontory  and  province  of  Shantung 
and  the  Corean  peninsula  were  connected,  and  that  dry  land  once 
COT  ered  the  space  filled  by  the  waters  joining  the  Gulf  of  Pechili 
and  the  Yellow  Sea.  These  waters  are  so  shallow  that  the  eleva- 
tion of  their  bottoms  but  a  few  feet  would  restore  their  area  to  the 
land  surface  of  the  globe.  On  the  other  side,  also,  the  sea  of  Japan 
is  very  shallow,  and  the  straits  of  Corea,  at  their  greatest  depth, 
have  but  eighty-three  feet  of  water.  That  portion  of  the  Chinese 
province  of  Shing  King,  or  Southern  Manchuria,  bordering  the  sea, 
is  it,  great  plain,  or  series  of  flats  elevated  but  a  few  feet  above  tide 
water,  which  becomes  nearly  impassable  during  heavy  rains. 

A  marked  difference  is  noted  between  the  east  and  west  coasts 

4  •  COREA. 

of  the  peninsula.  The  former  is  comparatively  destitute  of  harbors, 
and  the  shore  is  high,  monotonous,  and  but  slightly  indented  or 
fringed  with  islands.  It  contains  but  three  provinces.  On  the 
west  coast  are  five  provinces,  and  the  sea  is  thickly  strewn  with 
islands,  harbors  and  landing  places,  while  navigable  rivers  are 
more  numerous.  The  "Corean  Archipelago"  contains  an  amaz- 
ing number  of  fertile  and  inhabited  islands  and  islets  rising  out 
of  deep  water.  They  are  thus  described  by  the  naturalist  Arthur 
Adams : 

"  Leaving  the  huge,  cone-like  island  of  Quelpaert  in  the  distance, 
the  freshening  breeze  bears  us  gallantly  toward  those  unknown 
islands  which  form  the  Archipelago  of  Korea.  As  you  approach 
them  you  look  from  the  deck  of  the  vessel  and  you  see  them  dot- 
ting the  wide,  blue,  boundless  plain  of  the  sea — groups  and  clusters 
of  islands  stretching  away  into  the  far  distance.  Far  as  the  eye 
can  reach,  their  dark  masses  can  be  faintly  discerned,  and  as  we 
close,  one  after  another,  the  bold  outlines  of  their  mountain  peaks 
stand  out  clearly  against  the  cloudless  sky.  The  water  from  which 
they  seem  to  arise  is  so  deep  around  them  that  a  ship  can  almost 
range  up  alongside  them.  The  rough,  gray  granite  and  basaltic 
cliffs,  of  which  they  are  composed,  show  them  to  be  only  the 
rugged  peaks  of  submerged  mountain  masses  which  have  been  rent, 
in  some  great  convulsion  of  nature,  from  the  peninsula  which 
stretches  into  the  sea  from  the  main  land.  You  gaze  upward  and 
see  the  weird,  fantastic  outline  which  some  of  their  torn  and 
riven  peaks  present.  In  fact,  they  have  assumed  such  peculiar 
forms  as  to  have  suggested  to  navigators  characteristic  names. 
Here,  for  example,  stands  out  the  fretted,  crumbling  towers  of  one 
called  Windsor  Castle,  there  frowns  a  noble  rock-ruin,  the  Monas- 
tery, and  here  again,  mounting  to  the  skies,  the  Abbey  Peak. 

"  Some  of  the  islands  of  this  Archipelago  are  very  lofty,  and  one 
was  ascertained  to  boast  of  a  naked  granite  peak  more  than  two 
thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  Many  of  the  summits  are 
crowned  with  a  dense  forest  of  conifers,  dark  trees,  very  similar  in 
appearance  to  Scotch  firs." 

The  king  of  Corea  may  well  be  called  "  Sovereign  of  Ten 
Thousand  Isles." 

Almost  the  only  striking  feature  of  the  inland  physical  geogra- 
phy of  Cho-sen,  heretofore  generally  known,  is  that  chain  of  moun- 
tains which  traverses  the  peninsula  from  North  to  South,  not  in  a 
straight  line,  but  in  an  exceedingly  sinuous  course,  similar  to  the 


tac  dng  of  a  ship  when  sailing  in  the  eye  of  the  wind.  As  the 
Coreans  say,  "  it  winds  out  and  in  ninety-nine  times." 

Striking  out  from  Manchuria  it  trends  eastward  to  the  sea  at 
Cape  Bruat  on  the  41st  parallel,  thence  it  strikes  southwest  about 
eigity  miles  to  the  region  west  of  Broughton's  Bay  (the  narrowest 
part  of  Corea),  whence  it  bears  westward  to  the  sea  at  the  37th  paral- 
lel, or  Cape  Pelissier,  where  its  angle  culminates  in  the  lofty  mountain 
peaks  named  by  the  Kussians  Mount  Popoff — after  the  inventor  of 
the  high  turret  ships.  From  this  point  it  throws  off  a  fringe  of 
lesser  hills  to  the  southward  while  the  main  chain  strikes  south- 
west, and  after  forming  the  boundary  between  two  most  southern 
provinces  reaches  the  sea  near  the  Amherst  Isles.  Nor  does  its 
course  end  here,  for  the  uncounted  islands  of  the  Archipelago,  with 
the  r  fantastic  rock-ruins  and  perennial  greenery,  that  suggest  de- 
serted castles  and  abbeys  mantled  with  ivy,  are  but  the  wave-worn 
and  shattered  remnants  of  this  lordly  range. 

This  chief  feature  in  the  physical  geography  of  the  peninsula  de- 
termines largely  its  configuration,  climate,  river  system  and  water- 
shed, political  divisions,  and  natural  barriers..  Speaking  roughly, 
Eastern  Corea  is  a  mountainous  ridge  of  which  Western  Corea  is 
but  the  slope. 

No  river  of  any  importance  is  found  inside  the  peninsula  east  of 
these  mountains,  except  the  Nak-tong,  which  drains  the  valley 
formed  by  the  interior  and  the  sea-coast  ranges,  while  on  the  west- 
ward slope  ten  broad  streams  collect  the  tribute  of  their  melted 
snows  to  enrich  the  valleys  of  five  provinces. 

Through  seven  parallels  of  latitude  this  range  fronts  the  sea  of 
Japan  with  a  coast  barrier  which,  except  at  Yung-hing  Bay,  is  nearly 
destitute  of  harbors.  Its  timbered  heights  present  a  wall  of  living 
green  to  the  mariner  sailing  from  Vladivostok  to  Shanghai. 

Great  differences  of  climate  in  the  same  latitude  are  observed  on 
opposite  sides  of  this  mountain  range,  which  has  various  local  epi- 
thets. From  their  height  and  the  permanence  of  their  winter 
covering,  the  word  "white"  forms  an  oft-recurring  part  of  their 

The  division  of  the  country  into  eight  do,  or  provinces,  which 
are  grouped  in  southern,  central,  and  northern,  is  based  mainly  on 
the  river  basins.  The  rainfall  in  nearly  every  province  finds  an 
outlet  on  its  own  sea-border.  Only  the  western  slopes  of  the  two 
northeastern  provinces  are  exceptions  to  this  rule,  since  they  dis- 
charge part  of  their  waters  into  streams  emptying  beyond  their 

6  COREA. 

boundaries.  The  Yalu,  and  the  Han — "the  river"— are  the  only 
streams  whose  sources  lie  beyond  their  own  provinces.  In  rare  in- 
stances are  the  rivers  known  by  the  same  word  along  their  whole 
length,  various  local  names  being  applied  by  the  people  of  different 
neighborhoods.  On  the  maps  in  this  work  only  the  name  most 
commonly  given  to  each  stream  near  its  mouth  is  printed. 

In  respect  to  the  sea  basins,  three  provinces  on  the  west  coast 
form  one  side  of  the  depression  called  the  Yellow  Sea  Basin,  of 
which  Northeastern  China  forms  the  opposite  rim.  The  three  east- 
ern do,  or  circuits,  lining  the  Sea  of  Japan,  make  the  concave  in  the 
sea  basin  to  which  Japan  offers  the  corresponding  edge.  The  entire 
northern  boundary  of  the  peninsula  from  sea  to  gulf,  except  where 
the  colossal  peak  Paik-tu  ('White  Head')  forms  the  water-shed,  is 
one  vast  valley  in  which  lie  the  basins  of  the  Yalu  and  Tumen. 

Corea  is,  in  reality,  an  island,  as  the  following  description  of 
White  Head  Mountain,  obtained  from  the  Journal  of  the  Chinese 
Ambassador  to  Seoul,  shows.  This  mountain  has  two  summits, 
one  facing  north,  the  other  east.  On  the  top  is  a  lake  thirty  ri 
around.  In  shape  the  peak  is  that  of  a  colossal  white  vase  open  to 
the  sky,  and  fluted  or  scolloped  round  the  edge  like  the  vases  of 
Chinese  porcelain.  Its  crater,  white  on  the  outside,  is  red,  with 
whitish  veins,  inside.  Snow  and  ice  clothe  the  sides,  sometimes  as 
late  as  June.  On  the  side  of  the  north,  there  issues  a  runnel,  a 
yard  in  depth,  which  falls  in  a  cascade  and  forms  the  source  of  the 
(Tumen)  river.  Three  or  four  ri  from  the  summit  of  the  mountain 
the  stream  divides  into  two  parts ;  one  is  the  source  of  the  Yalu 

In  general,  it  may  be  said  to  dwellers  in  the  temperate  zone 
that  the  climate  of  Corea  is  excellent,  bracing  in  the  north,  and  in 
the  south  tempered  by  the  ocean  breezes  of  summer.  The  winters 
in  the  higher  latitudes  are  not  more  rigorous  than  in  the  State  of 
New  York ;  while,  in  the  most  southern,  they  are  as  delightful  as 
those  in  the  Carolinas.  In  so  mountainous  and  sea-girt  a  country 
there  are,  of  course,  great  climatic  varieties  even  in  the  same  prov- 

As  compared  with  European  countries  of  the  same  latitude, 
Corea  is  much  colder  in  winter  and  hotter  in  summer.  In  the 
north,  the  Tumen  River  is  usually  frozen  during  five  months  in  the 
year.  The  Han  River  at  Seoul  may  be  crossed  on  ice  during  two 
or  three  months.  Even  in  the  southern  provinces,  deep  snows 
cover  the  mountains,  though  the  plains  are  usually  free,  rarely 


holding  the  snow  during  a  whole  day.  The  lowest  point  to  which 
the  mercury  fell,  in  the  observation  of  the  French  missionaries,  was 
at  the  35th  parallel  of  latitude  8°  and  at  the  37th  parallel  15°  (F.). 
The  most  delightful  seasons  in  the  year  are  spring  and  autumn.  In 
summer,  in  addition  to  the  great  heat,  the  rain  falls  often  in  tor- 
rents that  blockade  the  roads  and  render  travelling  and  transport 
next  to  impossible.  Toward  the  end  of  September  occurs  the  pe- 
riod of  tempests  and  variable  winds. 

A.  glance  at  the  fauna  of  Corea  suggests  at  once  India,  Europe, 
Massachusetts,  and  Florida.  In  the  forests,  especially  of  the  two 
northern  circuits,  tigers  of  the  largest  size  and  fiercest  aspect 
abound.  When  food  fails  them,  they  attack  human  habitations, 
and  the  annual  list  of  victims  is  very  large.  The  leopard  is  com- 
mon. There  are  several  species  of  deer,  which  furnish  not  only 
hides  and.  venison,  but  horns  which,  when  "in  velvet,"  are  highly 
prized  as  medicine.  In  the  fauna  are  included  bears,  wild  hogs 
and  the  common  pigs  of  stunted  breed,  wild  cats,  badgers,  foxes, 
beavers,  otters,  several  species  of  martens.  The  salamander  is 
found  in  the  streams,  as  in  western  Japan. 

Of  domestic  beasts,  horses  are  very  numerous,  being  mostly  of 
a  short,  stunted  breed.  Immense  numbers  of  oxen  are  found  in 
the  south,  furnishing  the  meat  diet  craved  by  the  people  who  eat 
much  more  of  fatty  stuff  than  the  Japanese. 

Goats  are  rare.  Sheep  are  imported  from  China  only  for  sacri- 
ficifd  purposes.  The  dog  serves  for  food  as  well  as  for  companion- 
ship and  defence.  Of  birds,  the  pheasant,  falcon,  eagle,  crane,  and 
stork,  are  common. 

Corea  has  for  centuries  successfully  carried  out  the  policy  of 
isolation.  Instead  of  a  peninsula,  her  rulers  have  striven  to  make 
her  an  inaccessible  island,  and  insulate  her  from  the  shock  of 
change.  She  has  built  not  a  Great  "Wall  of  masonry,  but  a  barrier 
of  sea  and  river-flood,  of  mountain  and  devastated  land,  of  palisades 
and  cordons  of  armed  sentinels.  Frost  and  snow,  storm  and  win- 
ter, she  hails  as  her  allies.  Not  content  with  the  sea-border  she 
desolates  her  shores  lest  they  tempt  the  mariner  to  land.  Between 
her  Chinese  neighbor  and  herself,  she  has  placed  a  neutral  space  of 
unplanted,  unoccupied  land.  This  strip  of  forests  and  desolated 
plains,  twenty  leagues  wide,  stretches  between  Corea  and  Manchu- 
ria. To  form  it,  four  cities  and  many  villages  were  suppressed 
throe  centuries  ago,  and  left  in  ruins.  The  soil  of  these  solitudes 
is  very  good,  the  roads  easy,  and  the  hills  not  high. 

8  COREA. 

For  centuries,  only  the  wild  beasts,  fugitives  from  justice,  and 
outlaws  from  both  countries,  have  inhabited  this  fertile  but  forbid- 
den territory.  Occasionally,  borderers  would  cultivate  portions  of 
it,  but  gather  the  produce  by  night  or  stealthily  by  day,  venturing 
on  it  as  prisoners  would  step  over  the  "  dead  line."  Of  late  years, 
the  Chinese  Government  has  respected  the  neutrality  of  this  barrier 
less  and  less.  One  of  those  recurring  historical  phenomena  pecu- 
liar to  Manchuria — the  increase  and  pressure  of  population — has 
within  a  generation  caused  the  occupation  of  large  portions  of  this 
neutral  strip.  Parts  of  it  have  been  surveyed  and  staked  out  by 
Chinese  surveyors,  and  the  Corean  Government  has  been  too  feeble 
to  prevent  the  occupation.  Though  no  towns  or  villages  are  marked 
on  the  map  of  this  "No-man's  land,"  yet  already,  a  considerable 
number  of  small  settlements  exist  upon  it. 

As  this  once  neutral  territory  is  being  gradually  obliterated,  so 
the  former  lines  of  palisades  and  stone  walls  on  the  northern  bor- 
der which,  two  centuries  and  more  ago,  were  strong,  high,  guarded 
and  kept  in  repair,  have  year  by  year,  during  a  long  era  of  peace, 
been  suffered  to  fall  into  decay.  They  exist  no  longer,  and  should 
be  erased  from  the  maps. 

The  pressure  of  population  in  Manchuria  upon  the  Corean  bor- 
der is  a  portentous  phenomenon.  For  Manchuria,  which  for  ages 
past  has,  like  a  prolific  hive,  swarmed  off  masses  of  humanity  into 
other  lands,  seems  again  preparing  to  send  off  a  fresh  cloud.  Al- 
ready her  millions  press  upon  her  neighbors  for  room. 

The  clock  of  history  seems  once  more  about  to  strike,  perhaps 
to  order  again  another  dynasty  on  the  oft-changed  throne  of  China. 

From  mysterious  Mongolia,  have  gone  out  in  the  past  the  vari- 
ous hordes  called  Tartars,  or  Tatars,  Huns,  Turks,  Kitans,  Mongols, 
Manchius.  Perhaps  her  loins  also  are  already  swelling  with  a  new 
progeny.  This  marvellous  region  gave  forth  the  man-children  who 
destroyed  the  Roman  Empire  ;  who  extinguished  Christianity  in 
Asia  and  Africa,  and  nearly  in  Europe  ;  who,  after  conquering  India 
and  China  threatened  Christendom,  and  holding  Russia  for  two 
centuries,  created  the  largest  empire  ever  known  on  earth ;  and 
finally  reared  "the  most  improvable  race  in  Asia"  that  now  holds 
the  throne  and  empire  of  China. 

Cho-sen  since  acting  the  hermit  policy  of  ancient  Egypt  and  me- 
diaeval China,  has  preserved  two  loopholes  at  Fusan  and  Ai-chiu, 
the  former  on  the  sea  toward  Japan,  and  the  latter  in  the  north- 
west, on  the  Chinese  border.  What  in  time  of  peace  is  a  needle's 


eye,  is  in  time  of  war  a  flood-gate  for  enemies.  From  the  west,  the 
invading  armies  of  China  have  again  and  again  marched  around 
over  the  Gulf  of  Liao  Tung  and  entered  the  peninsula  to  plunder 
and  to  conquer,  while  Chinese  fleets  from  Shan-tung  have  over  and 
ove-r  again  arched  their  sails  in  the  Yellow  Sea  to  furl  them  again 
in  Corean  Kivers.  From  the  east,  the  Japanese  have  pushed  across 
the  sea  to  invade  Corea  as  enemies,  to  help  as  allies  against  China, 
to  levy  tribute  and  go  away  enriched,  or  anon  to  send  their  grain- 
laden  ships  to  their  starving  neighbors. 

From  a  political  point  of  view  the  geographical  position  of  this 
country  is  most  unfortunate.  Placed  between  two  rival  nations, 
aliens  in  blood,  temper,  and  policy,  Cho-sen  has  been  the  rich  grist 
between  the  upper  and  nether  millstones  of  China  and  Japan.  Out 
of  the  north,  rising  from  the  vast  plains  at  Manchuria,  the  conquer- 
ing hordes,  on  their  way  to  the  prize  lying  south  of  the  Great  Wall, 
have  over  and  over  again  descended  on  Corean  soil  to  make  it  their 
granary.  From  the  pre-historic  forays  of  the  tribes  beyond  the 
Sungari,  to  the  last  new  actors  on  the  scene,  the  Russians,  who 
stand  with  their  feet  on  the  Tumen,  looking  over  the  border  on  her 
helpless  neighbor,  Corea  has  been  threatened  or  devastated  by  her 
eager  enemies. 

Nevertheless  Corea  has  always  remained  Corea,  a  separate 
country  ;  and  the  people  are  Coreans,  more  allied  to  the  Japanese 
than  the  Chinese,  yet  in  language,  politics,  and  social  customs,  dif- 
ferent from  either.  As  Ireland  is  not  England  or  Scotland,  neither 
is  Cho-sen  China  nor  Japan. 

In  her  boasted  history  of  "four  thousand  years,"  the  little 
kingdom  has  too  often  been  the  Ireland  of  China,  so  far  as  misgov- 
ernment  on  the  one  side,  and  fretful  and  spasmodic  resistance  on 
the  other,  are  considered.  Yet  ancient  Corea  has  also  been  an 
Ireland  to  Japan,  in  the  better  sense  of  giving  to  her  the  art,  let- 
ters, science,  and  ethics  of  continental  civilization.  As  of  old,  went 
forth  from  Tara's  halls  to  the  British  Isles  and  the  continent,  the 
burd  and  the  monk  to  elevate  and  civilize  Europe  with  the  culture 
of  Rome  and  the  religion  of  Christianity,  so  for  centuries  there 
crossed  the  sea  from  the  peninsula  a  stream  of  scholars,  artists, 
and  missionaries Vho  brought  to  Japan  the  social  culture  of  Cho- 
sen, the  literature  of  China,  and  the  religion  of  India.  A  grateful 
bonze  of  Japan  has  well  told  the  story  of  Corea's  part  in  the  civili- 
zation of  his  native  country  in  a  book  entitled  "Precious  Jewels 
from  a  Neighbor  Country.* 

10  COREA. 

Corea  fulfils  one  of  the  first  conditions  of  national  safety  in 
having  "scientific  frontiers,"  or  adequate  natural  boundaries  of 
river,  mountain,  and  sea.  But  now  what  was  once  barrier  is 
highway.  What  was  once  the  safety  of  isolation,  is  now  the  weak- 
ness of  the  recluse.  Steam  has  made  the  water  a  surer  path  than 
land,  and  Japan,  once  the  pupil  and  anon  the  conqueror  of  the 
little  kingdom,  has  in  these  last  days  become  the  helpful  friend  of 
Corea's  people,  and  the  opener  of  the  long-sealed  peninsula. 

Already  the  friendly  whistle  of  Japanese  steamers  is  heard  in 
the  harbors  of  two  ports  in  which  are  trading  settlements.  At 
Fusan  and  Gensan,  the  mikado's  subjects  hold  commercial  rivalry 
with  the  Coreans,  and  through  these  two  loopholes  the  hermits  of 
the  peninsula  catch  glimpses  of  the  outer  world  that  must  waken 
thought  and  create  a  desire  to  enter  the  family  of  nations.  The  ill 
fame  of  the  native  character  for  inhospitality  and  hatred  of  foreign- 
ers belongs  not  to  the  people,  nor  is  truly  characteristic  of  them. 
It  inheres  in  the  government  which  curses  country  and  people,  and 
in  the  ruling  classes  who,  like  those  in  Old  Japan,  do  not  wish  the 
peasantry  to  see  the  inferiority  of  those  who  govern  them. 

Corea  cannot  long  remain  a  hermit  nation.  The  near  future 
will  see  her  open  to  the  world.  Commerce  and  pure  Christianity 
will  enter  to  elevate  her  people,  and  the  student  of  science,  ethnol- 
ogy, and  language  will  find  a  tempting  field  on  which  shall  be 
solved  many  a  yet  obscure  problem.  The  forbidden  land  of  to-day 
is,  in  many  striking  points  of  comparison,  the  analogue  of  Old 
Japan.  While  the  last  of  the  hermit  nations  awaits  some  gallant 
Perry  of  the  future,  we  may  hope  that  the  same  brilliant  path  of 
progress  on  which  the  Sunrise  Kingdom  has  entered,  awaits  the 
Land  of  Morning  Calm. 

We  add  a  postscript.  As  our  manuscript  turns  to  print,  we 
hear  of  the  treaty  successfully  negotiated  by  Commodore  Shufeldt. 

Corean  Coin — ''  Eastern  Kingdom,  Precious  Treasure." 



LIKE  almost  every  country  on  earth,  whose  history  is  known, 
Corea  is  inhabited  by  a  race  that  is  not  aboriginal.  The  present 
occupiers  of  the  land  drove  out  or  conquered  the  people  whom  they 
found  upon  it.  They  are  the  descendants  of  a  stock  whose  ances- 
tral seats  were  beyond  those  ever  white  mountains  which  buttress 
the  northern  frontier. 

Nevertheless,  for  the  origins  of  their  national  history,  we  must 
look  to  one  whom  the  Coreans  of  this  nineteenth  century  still  call 
the  founder  of  their  social  order.  The  scene  of  his  labors  is  laid 
partly  within  the  peninsula,  and  chiefly  in  Manchuria,  on  the  well 
watered  plains  of  Shing-king,  formerly  called  Liao  Tung. 

The  third  dynasty  of  the  thirty-three  or  thirty-four  lines  of 
rulers  who  have  filled  the  oft-changed  throne  of  China,  is  known 
in  history  as  the  Shang  (or  Yin).  It  began  B.C.  1766,  and  after  a 
line  of  twenty-eight  sovereigns,  ended  in  Chow  Sin,  who  died  B.C. 
11U2.  He  was  an  unscrupulous  tyrant,  and  has  been  called  "the 
Nero  of  China." 

One  of  his  nobles  was  Ki  Tsze,  viscount  of  Ki  (or  Latinized, 
Kioius).  He  was  a  profound  scholar  and  author  of  important  por- 
tions of  the  classic  book,  entitled  the  Shu  King.  He  was  a  coun- 
sellor of  the  tyrant  king,  and  being  a  man  of  upright  character, 
was  greatly  scandalized  at  the  conduct  of  his  licentious  and  cruel 
master. . 

The  sage  remonstrated  with  his  sovereign  hoping  to  turn  him 
from  his  evil  ways.  In  this  noble  purpose  he  was  assisted  by  two 
other  men  of  rank  named  Pi  Kan  and  Wei  Tsze.  All  their  efforts 
were  of  no  avail,  and  finding  the  reformation  of  the  tyrant  hopeless, 
Wei  Tsze,  though  a  kinsman  of  the  king,  voluntarily  exiled  him- 
self from  the  realm,  while  Pi  Kan,  also  a  relative  of  Chow  Sin,  was 
cruelly  murdered  in  the  following  manner  : 

The  king,  mocking  the  wise  counsellor,  cried  out,  "They  say 

12  COREA. 

that  a  sage  has  seven  orifices  to  his  heart ;  let  us  see  if  this  is  the 
case  with  Pi  Kan. "  This  Chinese  monarch,  himself  so  much  like 
Herod  in  other  respects,  had  a  wife  who  in  her  character  re- 
sembled Herodias.  It  was  she  who  expressed  the  bloody  wish  to 
see  the  heart  of  Pi  Kan.  By  the  imperial  order  the  sage  was  put  to 
death  and  his  body  ripped  open.  His  heart,  torn  out,  was  brought 
before  the  cruel  pair.  Ki  Tsze,  the  third  counsellor,  was  cast  into 

Meanwhile  the  people  and  nobles  of  the  empire  were  rising  in 
arms  against  the  tyrant  whose  misrule  had  become  intolerable. 
They  were  led  on  by  one  Wu  Wang,  who  crossed  the  Yellow  River, 
and  met  the  tyrant  on  the  plains  of  Muh.  In  the  great  battle  that 
ensued,  the  army  of  Chow  Sin  was  defeated.  Escaping  to  his  pal- 
ace, and  ordering  it  to  be  set  on  fire,  he  perished  in  the  flames. 

Among  the  conqueror's  first  acts  was  the  erection  of  a  memorial 
mound  over  the  grave  of  Pi  Kan,  and  an  order  that  Ki  Tsze  should 
be  released  from  prison,  and  appointed  Prime  Minister  of  the 

But  the  sage's  loyalty  exceeded  his  gratitude.  In  spite  of  the 
magnanimity  of  the  offer,  Ki  Tsze  frankly  told  the  conqueror  that 
duty  to  his  deposed  sovereign  forbade  him  serving  one  whom  he 
could  not  but  regard  as  a  usurper.  He  then  departed  into  the 
regions  lying  to  the  northeast.  With  him  went  several  thousand 
Chinese  emigrants,  mostly  the  remnant  of  the  defeated  army,  now 
exiles,  who  made  him  their  king.  It  is  not  probable  that  in  his 
distant  realm  he  received  investment  from  or  paid  tribute  to  King 
Wu.  Such  an  act  would  be  a  virtual  acknowledgment  of  the 
righteousness  of  rebellion  and  revolution.  It  would  prove  that  the 
sage  forgave  the  usurper.  Some  Chinese  historians  state  that  Ki 
Tsze  accepted  a  title  from  Wu  Wang.  Others  maintain  that  the 
investiture  "  was  a  euphemism  to  shield  the  character  of  the  ances- 
tor of  Confucius."  The  migration  of  Ki  Tsze  and  his  .followers 
took  place  1122  B.C. 

Ki  Tsze  began  vigorously  to  reduce  the  aboriginal  people  of  his 
realm  to  order.  He  policed  the  borders,  gave  laws  to  his  subjects, 
and  gradually  introduced  the  principles  and  practice  of  Chinese 
etiquette  and  polity  throughout  his  domain.  Previous  to  his  time 
the  people  lived  in  caves  and  holes  in  the  ground,  dressed  in  leaves, 
and  were  destitute  of  manners,  morals,  agriculture  and  cooking, 
being  ignorant  savages.  The  divine  being,  Dan  Kun,  had  partially 
civilized  them,  but  Kishi,  who  brought  5,000  Chinese  colonists  with 


him.  taught  the  aborigines  letters,  reading  and  writing,  medicine, 
many  of  the  arts,  and  the  political  principles  of  feudal  China.  The 
Japanese  pronounce  the  founder's  name  Kishi,  and  the  Coreans 
Kei-tsa  or  Kysse. 

The  name  conferred  by  Kishi,  the  civilizer,  upon  his  new  domain 
is  that  now  in  use  by  the  modern  Coreans — Cho-sen  or  Morning 

This  ancient  kingdom  of  Cho-sen,  according  to  the  Coreans, 
comprised  the  modern  Chinese  province  of  Shing-king,  which  is 
now  about  the  size  of  Ohio,  having  an  area  of  43,000  square  miles, 
and  a  population  of  8,000,000  souls.  It  is  entirely  outside  and 
west,  of  the  limits  of  modern  Corea. 

In  addition  to  the  space  already  named,  the  fluctuating  bound- 
aries of  this  ancient  kingdom  embraced  at  later  periods  much  terri- 
tory beyond  the  Liao  River  toward  Peking,  and  inside  the  line  now 
marked  by  the  Great  Wall.  To  the  east  the  modern  province  of 
Ping-an  was  included  in  Cho-sen,  the  Ta-tong  River  being  its  most 
stable  boundary.  "  Scientific  frontiers,"  though  sought  for  in  those 
ancient  times,  were  rather  ideal  than  hard  and  fast.  With  all  due 
allowance  for  elastic  boundaries,  we  may  say  that  ancient  Cho-sen 
lay  .chiefly  within  the  Liao  Tung  peninsula  and  the  Corean  province 
of  Ping-an,  that  the  Liao  and  the  Ta-tong  Rivers  enclosed  it,  and 
thai  its  northern  border  lay  along  the  42d  parallel  of  latitude. 

The  descendants  of  Ki  Tsze  are  said  to  have  ruled  the  country 
until  the  fourth  century  before  the  Christian  era.  Their  names 
and  deeds  are  alike  unknown,  but  it  is  stated  that  there  were  forty- 
one  generations,  making  a  blood-line  of  eleven  hundred  and  thirty- 
one  years.  The  line  came  to  an  end  in  9  A.D.,  though  they  had  lost 
power  long  before  this  time. 

By  common  consent  of  Chinese  and  native  tradition,  Ki  Tsze 
is  the  founder  of  Corean  social  order.  If  this  tradition  be  true, 
the  civilization  of  the  hermit  nation  nearly  equals,  in  point  of  time, 
that  of  China,  and  is  one  of  the  very  oldest  in  the  world,  being 
contemporaneous  with  that  of  Egypt  and  Chaldea.  It  is  certain 
that  the  natives  plume  themselves  upon  their  antiquity,  and  that 
the  particular  vein  of  Corean  arrogance  and  contempt  for  western 
civilization  is  kindred  to  that  of  the  Hindoos  and  Chinese.  From 
the  lofty  height  of  thirty  centuries  of  tradition,  which  to  them  is 
unchallenged  history,  they  look  with  pitying  contempt  upon  the 
upstart  nations  of  yesterday,  who  live  beyond  the  sea  under  some 
other  heaven.  When  the  American  Admiral,  John  Rodgers,  in 

14  COREA. 

1871,  entered  the  Han  River  with  his  fleet,  hoping  to  make  a  treaty, 
he  was  warned  off  with  the  repeated  answer  that  V  Corea  was  satis- 
fied with  her  civilization  of  four  thousand  years,  and  wanted  no 
other."  The  perpetual  text  of  all  letters  from  Seoul  to  Peking,  of 
all  proclamations  against  Christianity,  of  all  death-warrants  of  con- 
verts, and  of  the  oft-repeated  refusals  to  open  trade  with  foreign- 
ers is  the  praise  of  Ki  Tsze  as  the  founder  of  the  virtue  and  order 
of  "the  little  kingdom,"  and  the  loyalty  of  Corea  to  his  doctrines. 

In  the  letter  of  the  king  to  the  Chinese  emperor,  dated  Novem- 
ber 25,  1801,  the  language  following  the  opening  sentence  is  as 
given  below : 

"His  Imperial  Majesty  knows  that  since  the  time  when  the 
remnants  of  the  army  of  the  Yin  dynasty  migrated  to  the  East 
[1122  B.C.],  the  little  kingdom  has  always  been  distinguished  by 
its  exactness  in  fulfilling  all  that  the  rites  prescribe,  justice  and 
loyalty,  and  in  general  by  fidelity  to  her  duties,"  etc.,  etc. 

In  a  royal  proclamation  against  the  Christian  religion,  dated 
January  25,  1802,  occurs  the  following  sentence  : 

"The  kingdom  granted  to  Ki  Tsze  has  enjoyed  great  peace  dur- 
ing four  hundred  years  [since  the  establishment  of  the  ruling  dy- 
nasty], in  all  the  extent  of  its  territory  of  two  thousand  ri  and 
more,"  etc. 

These  are  but  specimens  from  official  documents  which  illus- 
trate their  pride  in  antiquity,  and  the  reverence  in  which  their  first 
law  giver  is  held  by  the  Coreans. 

Nevertheless,  though  Kishi  may  possibly  be  called  the  founder 
of  ancient  Cho-sen,  and  her  greatest  legislator,  yet  he  can  scarcely 
be  deemed  the  ancestor  of  the  people  now  inhabiting  the  Corean 
peninsula.  For  the  modern  Coreans  are  descended  from  a  stock 
of  later  origin,  and  quite  different  from  the  ancient  Cho-senese. 
From  Ki  Tsze,  however,  sprang  a  line  of  kings,  and  it  is  possible 
that  his  blood  courses  in  some  of  the  noble  families  of  the  king- 

As  the  most  ancient  traditions  of  Japan  and  Corea  are  based 
on  Chinese  writings,  there  is  no  discrepancy  in  their  accounts  of 
the  beginning  of  Cho-sen  history. 

Ki  Tsze  and  his  colonists  were  simply  the  first  immigrants  to 
the  country  northeast  of  China,  of  whom  history  speaks.  He 
found  other  people  on  the  soil  before  him,  concerning  whose  origin 
nothing  is  known  in  writing.  The  land  was  not  densely  populated, 
but  of  their  numbers,  or  time  of  coming  of  the  aborigines,  or 


whether  of  the  same  race  as  the  tribes  in  the  outlying  islands  of 
Japan,  no  means  yet  in  our  power  can  give  answer. 

Even  the  story  of  Ki  Tsze,  when  critically  examined,  does  not 
satisfy  the  rigid  demands  of  modern  research.  Mayers,  in  his 
"Chinese  Reader's  Manual"  (p.  369),  does  not  concede  the  first 
part  of  the  Chow  dynasty  (1122  B.C. -255  A.D.)  to  be  more  than 
serai-historical,  and  places  the  beginning  of  authentic  Chinese  his- 
tory between  781  and  719  B.C.,  over  four  centuries  after  Ki  Tsze's 
time.  Ross  (p.  11)  says  that  "  the  story  of  Kitsu  is  not  impossible, 
but  it  is  to  be  received  with  suspicion."  It  is  not  at  all  improbable 
that  the  Cho-sen  of  Ki  Tsze's  founding  lay  in  the  Sungari  valley,  and 
was  extended  southward  at  a  later  period. 

It  is  not  for  us  to  dissect  too  critically  the  tradition  concerning 
tho  founder  of  Corea,  nor  to  locate  exactly  the  scene  of  his  labors. 
Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  general  history,  prior  to  the  Christian  era, 
of  the  country  whose  story  we  are  to  tell,  divides  itself  into  that 
of  the  north,  or  Cho-sen,  and  that  of  the  south,  below  the  Ta-tong 
River,  in  which  region  three  kingdoms  arose  and  flourished,  with 
varying  fortunes,  during  a  millennium. 

We  return  now  to  the  well-established  history  of  Cho-sen.  The 
Great  Wall  of  China  was  built  by  Cheng,  the  founder  of  the  Tsin 
dynasty  (B.C.  255-209),  who  began  the  work  in  239  A.D.  Before 
hiB  time,  China  had  been  a  feudal  conglomerate  of  petty,  warring 
kingdoms.  He,  by  the  power  of  the  sword,  consolidated  them  into 
one  homogeneous  empire  and  took  the  title  of  the  "First  Univer- 
sal Emperor"  (Shi  Whang  Ti).  Not  content  with  sweeping  away 
feudal  institutions,  and  building  the  Great  Wall,  he  ordered  all  the 
literary  records  and  the  ancient  scriptures  of  Confucius  to  be  de- 
stroyed by  fire.  Yet  the  empire,  whose  perpetuity  he  thought  to 
secure  by  building  a  rampart  against  the  barbarians  without,  and 
b}  destroying  the  material  for  rebellious  thought  within,  fell  to 
pieces  soon  after,  at  his  death,  when  left  to  the  care  of  a  foolish 
sou,  and  China  was  plunged  into  bloody  anarchy  again. 

One  of  these  petty  kingdoms  that  arose  on  the  ruins  of  the  em- 
pire was  that  of  Yen,  which  began  to  encroach  upon  its  eastern 
neighbor  Cho-sen. 

In  the  later  days  of  the  Ki  Tsze  family,  great  anarchy  prevailed, 
and  the  last  kings  of  the  line  were  unable  to  keep  their  domain  in 
order,  or  guard  its  boundaries. 

Taking  advantage  of  its  weakness,  the  king  of  Yen  began  boldly 
and  openly  to  seize  upon  Cho-sen  territory,  annexing  thousands  of 

16  CORE  A. 

square  miles  to  his  own  domain.  By  a  spasmodic  effort,  the  sue- 
cessors  of  Ki  Tsze  again  became  ascendant,  reannexing  a  large 
part  of  the  territory  of  Yen,  and  receiving  great  numbers  of  her 
people,  who  had  fled  from  civil  war  in  China,  within  the  borders  of 
Cho-sen  for  safety  and  peace. 

Thus  the  spoiler  was  spoiled,  but,  later  on,  the  kingdom  of  Yen 
was  again  set  up,  and  the  rival  states  fixed  their  boundaries  and 
made  peace.  The  Han  dynasty  in  B.C.  206  claimed  the  imperial 
power,  and  sent  a  summons  to  the  king  of  Yen  to  become  vassal. 
On  his  refusing,  the  Chinese  emperor  despatched  an  army  against 
him,  defeated  his  forces  in  battle,  extinguished  his  dynasty,  and  an- 
nexed his  kingdom. 

One  of  the  survivors  of  this  revolt,  named  Wei-man,  with  one 
thousand  of  his  followers,  fled  to  the  east.  Dressing  themselves 
like  wild  savages  they  entered  Cho-sen,  pretending,  with  Gibeoni- 
tish  craft,  that  they  had  come  from  the  far  west,  and  begged  to  be 
received  as  subjects. 

Kijun,  the  king,  like  another  Joshua,  believing  their  profes- 
sions, welcomed  them  and  made  their  leader  a  vassal  of  high  rank, 
with  the  title  of  '  Guardian  of  the  Western  Frontier.'  He  also  set 
apart  a  large  tract  of  land  for  his  salary  and  support. 

In  his  post  at  the  west,  Wei-man  played  the  traitor,  and  collect- 
ing a  number  of  his  former  countrymen  from  the  Yen  province, 
suddenly  sent  to  Kijun  a  messenger,  informing  him  that  a  large 
Chinese  army  of  the  conquering  Han  was  about  to  invade  Cho-sen. 
At  the  same  time,  he  suggested  that  he  should  be  called  to  the 
royal  side  and  be  made  Protector  of  the  Capital.  His  desire  being 
granted,  he  hastened  with  his  forces  and  suddenly  appearing  before 
the  royal  castle,  attacked  it.  Kijun  was  beaten,  and  fled  by  sea, 
escaping  in  a  boat  to  the  southern  end  of  the  peninsula. 

Wei-man  then  proclaimed  himself  King  of  Cho-sen,  194  B.C.  He 
set  out  on  a  career  of  conquest  and  seized  several  of  the  neighbor- 
ing provinces,  and  Cho-sen  again  expanded  her  boundaries  to  cover 
an  immense  area.  Wei-man  built  a  city  somewhere  east  of  the  Ta- 
tong  River.  It  was  named  Wang-hien. 

Two  provinces  of  modern  Corea  were  thus  included  within  Cho- 
sen at  this  date.  The  new  kingdom  grew  in  wealth,  power,  and 
intelligence.  Many  thousands  of  the  Chinese  gentry,  fleeing  before 
the  conquering  arms  of  the  Han  "  usurpers,"  settled  within  the  lim- 
its of  Cho-sen,  adding  greatly  to  its  prosperity. 

During  the  reign  of  Yukio  (Chinese,  Yow  Jin),  the  grandson  of 


Wei- man,  he  received  a  summons  ro  become  vassal  to  the  Chinese 
emperor,  who  sublimely  declared  that  henceforward  the  eastern 
frontier  of  China  should  be  the  Ta-tong  River — thus  virtually  wip- 
ing out  Cho-sen  with  a  proclamation.  In  B.C.  109,  a  Chinese  am- 
bassador sailed  over  from  China,  entered  the  Ta-tong  River,  and 
visit( d  Yukio  in  his  castle.  He  plead  in  vain  with  Yukio  to  render 
homage  to  his  master. 

£  evertheless,  to  show  his  respect  for  the  emperor  and  his  envoy, 
Yukio  sent  an  escort  to  accompany  the  latter  on  his  way.  The 
sullen  Chinaman,  angry  at  his  defeat,  accepted  the  safe  conduct 
of  the  Cho-sen  troops  until  beyond  the  Ta-tong  River,  and  then 
treac  herously  put  their  chief  to  death.  Hurrying  back  to  his  mas- 
ter, lie  glossed  over  his  defeat,  and  boasted  of  his  perfidious  murder. 
He  vas  rewarded  with  the  appointment  of  the  governorship  of  Liao 

Smarting  at  the  insult  and  menace  of  this  act,  Yukio,  raising  an 
army,  marched  to  the  west  and  slew  the  traitor.  Having  thus  un- 
furled the  standard  of  defiance  against  the  mighty  Han  dynasty,  he 
returned  to  his  castle,  and  awaited  with  anxious  preparation  the 
coining  of  the  invading  hosts  which  he  knew  would  be  hurled  upon 
him  from  China. 

The  avenging  expedition,  that  was  to  carry  the  banners  of  China  toward  the  sunrise  than  ever  before,  was  despatched  both 
by  lund.  and  sea,  B.C.  108.  The  horse  and  foot  soldiers  took  the 
land  route  around  the  head  of  Liao  Tung  Gulf,  crossed  on  the  ice 
of  the  Yalu  River,  and  marched  south  to  the  Ta-tong,  where  the 
Cho-sen  men  attacked  their  van  and  scattered  it. 

The  fleet  sailed  over  from  Shantung,  and  landed  a  force  of 
several  thousand  men  on  the  Corean  shore,  in  February  or  March, 
B.C.  107.  Without  waiting  for  the  entire  army  to  penetrate  the 
coui  try,  Yukio  attacked  the  advance  guards  and  drove  them  to 
the  mountains  in  disorder. 

Diplomacy  was  now  tried,  and  a  representative  of  the  emperor 
was  sent  to  treat  with  Yukio.  The  latter  agreed  to  yield  and  be- 
com  3  vassal,  but  had  no  confidence  in  the  general  whom  he  had 
just  defeated.  His  memory  of  Chinese  perfidy  was  still  so  fresh, 
that  he  felt  unable  to  trust  himself  to  his  recently  humbled  ene- 
mies, and  the  negotiations  ended  in  failure.  As  usual,  with  the 
unsuccessful,  the  Chinaman  lost  his  head. 

Recourse  was  again  had  to  the  sword.  The  Chinese  crossed 
the  Ta-tong  River  on  the  north,  and  defeating  the  Cho-sen  army, 



marched  to  the  king's  capital,  and  laid  siege  to  it  in  conjunction 
with  the  naval  forces.  In  spite  of  their  superior  numbers,  the  in- 
vaders were  many  months  vainly  beleaguering  the  fortress.  Yet, 
though  the  garrison  wasted  daily,  the  king  would  not  yield. 
Knowing  that  defeat,  with  perhaps  a  cruel  massacre,  awaited  them, 
four  Cho-sen  men,  awaiting  their  opportunity,  during  the  fighting, 
discharged  their  weapons  at  Yukio,  and  leaving  him  dead,  opened 
the  gates  of  the  citadel,  and  the  Chinese  entered. 

With  the  planting  of  the  Han  banners  on  the  city  walls,  B.C. 
107,  the  existence  of  the  kingdom  of  Cho-sen  came  to  an  end. 
Henceforth,  for  several  centuries,  Liao  Tung  and  the  land  now  com- 
prised within  the  two  northwestern  provinces  of  Corea,  were  parts 
of  China. 

The  conquered  territory  was  at  once  divided  into  four  provinces, 
two  of  which  comprised  that  part  of  Corea  north  of  the  Ta-tong 
River.  The  other  two  were  in  Liao  Tung,  occupying  its  eastern 
and  its  western  half.  Within  the  latter  was  the  district  of  Kokorai, 
or  Kaokuli,  at  whose  history  we  shall  now  glance. 

Coin  of  Modern  ChO-sen.     "  Ch6-sen,  Current  Treasure' 



SOMEWHERE  north  of  that  vast  region  watered  by  the  Sungari 
River,  itself  only  a  tributary  to  the  Amur,  there  existed,  according 
to  Chinese  tradition,  in  very  ancient  times,  a  petty  kingdom  called 
Korai,  or  To-li.  Out  of  this  kingdom  sprang  the  founder  of  the 
Coiean  race.  Slightly  altering  names,  we  may  say  in  the  phrase  of 
Genesis:  "Out  of  Korai  went  forth  Ko  and  builded  Corea," 
though  what  may  be  sober  fact  is  wrapped  up  in  the  following 
fantastic  legend. 

Long,  long  ago,  in  the  kingdom  called  To-li,  or  Korai  (so  pro- 
nounced, though  the  characters  are  not  those  for  the  Korai  of  later 
days),  there  lived  a  king,  in  whose  harem  was  a  waiting-maid.  One 
day ,  while  her  master  was  absent  on  a  hunt,  she  saw,  floating  in  the 
atmosphere,  a  glistening  vapor  which  entered  her  bosom.  This 
ray  or  tiny  cloud  seemed  to  be  about  as  big  as  an  egg.  Under  its 
influence,  she  conceived. 

The  king,  on  his  return,  discovered  her  condition,  and  made 
up  his  mind  to  put  her  to  death.  Upon  her  explanation,  how- 
ever, he  agreed  to  spare  her  life,  but  at  once  lodged  her  in  prison. 

The  child  that  was  born  proved  to  be  a  boy,  which  the  king 
promptly  cast  among  the  pigs.  But  the  swine  breathed  into  his 
nostrils  and  the  baby  lived.  He  was  next  put  among  the  horses, 
bul  they  also  nourished  him  with  their  breath,  and  he  lived. 
Struck  by  this  evident  will  of  Heaven,  that  the  child  should  live, 
the  king  listened  to  its  mother's  prayers,  and  permitted  her  to 
noioish  and  train  him  in  the  palace.  He  grew  up  to  be  a  fair 
yoi-th,  full  of  energy,  and  skilful  in  archery.  He  was  named 
"Light  of  the  East,"  and  the  king  appointed  him  Master  of  his 

One  day,  while  out  hunting,  the  king  permitted  him  to  give  an 
exhibition  of  his  skill.  This  he  did,  drawing  bow  with  such  un- 
erring aim  that  the  royal  jealousy  was  kindled,  and  he  thought  of 



nothing  but  how  to  compass  the  destruction  of  the  youth.  Know- 
ing that  he  would  be  killed  if  he  remained  in  the  royal  service, 
the  young  archer  fled  the  kingdom.  He  directed  his  course  to 
the  southeast,  and  came  to  the  borders  of  a  vast  and  impassable 
river,  most  probably  the  Sungari.  Knowing  his  pursuers  were 
not  far  behind  him  he  cried  out,  in  a  great  strait, 

The  Founder  of  Fuyu  Crossing  the  Sungari  River.     (Drawn  by  G.  Hashimoto,  Yedo,   1853.) 

"Alas !  shall  I,  who  am  the  child  of  the  Sun,  and  the  grandson 
of  the  Yellow  River,  be  stopped  here  powerless  by  this  stream." 

So  saying  he  shot  his  arrows  at  the  water. 

Immediately  all  the  fishes  of  the  river  assembled  together  in 
a  thick  shoal,  making  so  dense  a  mass  that  their  bodies  became  a 
floating  bridge.  On  this,  the  young  prince  (and  according  to  the 


Japanese  version  of  the  legend,  three  others  with  him),  crossed 
the  stream  and  safely  reached  the  further  side.  No  sooner  did  he 
set  foot  on  land  than  his  pursuers  appeared  on  the  opposite  shore, 
when  the  bridge  of  fishes  at  once  dissolved.  His  three  compan- 
ions stood  ready  to  act  as  his  guides.  One  of  the  three  was 
dressed  in  a  costume  made  of  sea- weeds,  a  second  in  hempen  gar- 
ments, and  a  third  in  embroidered  robes.  Arriving  at  their 
city,  he  became  the  king  of  the  tribe  and  kingdom  of  Fuyu, 
which  lay  in  the  fertile  and  well-watered  region  between  the  Sun- 
gari  River  and  the  Shan  Alyn,  or  Ever- White  Mountains.  It  ex- 
tended several  hundred  miles  east  and  west  of  a 
ward  through  Kirin,  the  larger  half  lying  on 

Fuyu,  as  described  by  a  Chinese  writer 
dynasty  (25  B.C.-190  A.D.),  was  a  land  of 
"  the  five  cereals  "  (wheat,  rice,  millet,  beans^ 
be  raised.  The  men  were  tall,  muscular,  am 
generous  and  courteous  to  each  other.  Their  arms' 
arrows,  swords,  and  lances.  They  were  skilful  horsemen.  Their 
ornaments  were  large  pearls,  and  cut  jewels  of  red  jade.  They 
made  spirits  from  grain,  and  were  fond  of  drinking  bouts,  feast- 
ing, dancing,  and  singing.  With  many  drinkers  there  were  few 
cupw.  The  latter  were  rinsed  in  a  bowl  of  water,  and  with  great 
ceremony  passed  from  one  to  another.  They  ate  with  chopsticks, 
out  of  bowls,  helping  themselves  out  of  large  dishes. 

It  is  a  striking  fact  that  the  Fuyu  people,  though  living  so  far 
from  China,  were  dwellers  in  cities  which  they  surrounded  with 
palisades  or  walls  of  stakes.  They  lived  in  wooden  houses,  and 
stored  their  crops  in  granaries. 

In  the  administration  of  justice,  they  were  severe  and  prompt. 
They  had  regular  prisons,  and  fines  were  part  of  their  legal  sys- 
tem. The  thief  must  repay  twelve-fold.  Adultery  was  punished 
by  the  death  of  both  parties.  Further  revenge  might  be  taken 
upon  the  woman  by  exposing  her  dead  body  on  a  mound.  Cer- 
tain relatives  of  a  criminal  were  denied  burial  in  a  coffin.  The 
other  members  of  the  family  of  a  criminal  suffering  capital  pun- 
ishment were  sold  as  slaves.  Murderers  were  buried  alive  with 
their  victims. 

The  Fuyu  religion  was  a  worship  of  Heaven,  their  greatest 
festival  being  in  the  eleventh  month,  when  they  met  joyfully  to- 
gether, laying  aside  all  grudges  and  quarrels,  and  freeing  their 
prisoners.  Before  setting  out  on  a  military  expedition  they  wor- 

22  COREA. 

shipped  Heaven,  and  sacrificed  an  ox,  examining  the  hoof,  to  obtain 
an  omen.  If  the  cloven  part  remained  separated,  the  portent  was 
evil,  if  the  hoof  closed  together,  the  omen  was  auspicious. 

The  Fuyu  chief  men  or  rulers  were  named  after  the  domestic 
beasts,  beginning  with  their  noblest  animal,  the  horse,  then  the  ox, 
the  dog,  etc.  Rulers  of  cities  were  of  this  order.  Their  king  was 
buried  at  his  death  in  a  coffin  made  of  jade. 

Evidently  the  Fuyu  people  were  a  vigorous  northern  race, 
well  clothed  and  fed,  rich  in  grain,  horses  and  cattle,  possessing 
the  arts  of  life,  with  considerable  literary  culture,  and  well  ad- 
vanced in  social  order  and  political  knowledge.  Though  the  Chi- 
nese writers  classed  them  among  barbarians,  they  were,  in  con- 
trast with  their  immediate  neighbors,  a  civilized  nation.  Indeed, 
to  account  for  such  a  high  stage  of  civilization  thus  early  and  so 
far  fom  China,  Mr.  Ross  suggests  that  the  scene  of  the  Ki  Tsze's 
labors  was  in  Fuyu,  rather  than  in  Cho-sen.  Certain  it  is  that 
the  Fuyu  people  were  the  first  nation  of  Manchuria  to  emerge 
from  barbarism,  and  become  politically  well  organized.  It  is  signifi- 
cant, as  serving  to  support  the  conjecture  that  Ki  Tsze  founded 
Fuyu,  that  we  discern,  even  in  the  early  history  of  this  vigor- 
ous nation,  the  institution  of  feudalism.  We  find  a  king  and  no- 
bles, with  fortified  cities,  and  wealthy  men,  with  farms,  herds  of 
horses,  cattle,  and  granaries.  We  find  also  a  class  of  serfs,  created 
by  the  degradation  of  criminals  or  their  relatives.  The  other 
Manchurian  people,  or  barbarians,  surrounding  China,  were  still 
in  the  nomadic  or  patriarchal  state.  Why  so  early  beyond  China 
do  we  find  a  well-developed  feudal  system  and  high  political  or- 
ganization ? 

It  was  from  feudal  China,  the  China  of  the  Yin  dynasty,  from 
which  Ki  Tsze  emigrated  to  the  northeast.  Knowing  no  other 
form  of  government,  he,  if  their  founder,  doubtless  introduced 
feudal  forms  of  government. 

Whatever  may  be  thought  of  the  theory  there  suggested,  it  is 
certainly  surprising  to  find  a  distinctly  marked  feudal  system, 
already  past  the  rudimentary  stage,  in  the  wilderness  of  Man- 
churia, a  thousand  miles  away  from  the  seats  of  Chinese  culture, 
as  early  as  the  Christian  era. 

As  nearly  the  whole  of  Europe  was  at  some  time  feudalized,  so 
China,  Corea,  and  Japan  have  each  passed  through  this  stage  of 
political  life. 

The  feudal  system  in  China  was  abolished  by  Shi  Whang  Ti, 


the  first  universal  Emperor,  B.C.  221,  but  that  of  Japan  only  after  an 
interval  of  2,000  years,  surviving  until  1871.  It  lingers  still  in 
Corea,  whose  history  it  has  greatly  influenced,  as  our  subsequent 
narrative  will  prove.  In  addition  to  the  usual  features  of  feudal- 
ism, the  existence  of  serfdom,  in  fact  as  well  as  in  form,  is  proved 
by  uhe  testimony  of  Dutch  and  French  observers,  and  of  the  lan- 
guage itself.  The  richness  of  Corean  speech,  in  regard  to  every 
phase  and  degree  of  servitude,  would  suffice  for  a  Norman  land- 
holder in  mediseval  England,  or  for  a  Carolina  cotton-planter  be- 
fore the  American  civil  war. 

Out  of  this  kingdom  of  Fuyu  came  the  people  who  are  the 
ancestors  of  the  modern  Coreans.  In  the  same  Chinese  history 
which  describes  Fuyu,  we  have  a  picture  of  the  kingdom  of  Koko- 
rai  (or  Kao-ku-li),  which  had  Fuyu  for  its  northern  and  Cho-sen 
for  its  southern  neighbor.  "The  land  was  two  thousand  li  square, 
and  contained  many  great  mountains,  and  deep  valleys."  There 
wa&  a  tradition  among  the  Eastern  barbarians  that  they  were  an 
offshoot  from  Fuyu.  Hence  their  language  and  laws  were  very 
much  alike.  The  nation  was  divided  into  five  families,  named 
after  the  four  points  of  the  compass,  with  a  yellow  or  central 

Evidently  this  means  that  a  few  families,  perhaps  five  in  num- 
ber, leaving  Fuyu,  set  out  toward  the  south,  and  in  the  valleys 
west  of  the  Yalu  River  and  along  the  42d  parallel,  founded  a 
new  nation.  Their  first  king  was  Ko,  who,  perhaps,  to  gain  the 
prestige  of  ancient  descent,  joined  his  name  to  that  of  Korai 
(written  however  with  the  characters  which  make  the  sound  of 
modern  Korai)  and  thus  the  realm  of  Kokorai  received  its  name. 

A  Japanese  writer  derives  the  term  Kokorai  from  words  se- 
lected out  of  a  passage  in  the  Chinese  classics  referring  to  the 
high  mountains.  The  first  character  Ko,  in  Kokorai,  means  high, 
and  it  was  under  the  shadows  of  the  lofty  Ever  White  Mountains 
that  this  vigorous  nation  had  its  cradle  and  its  home  in  youth. 
Hei-e,  too,  its  warriors  nourished  their  strength  until  their  clouds 
of  horsemen  burst  upon  the  frontiers  of  the  Chinese  empire,  and 
into  the  old  kingdom  of  Cho-sen.  The  people  of  this  young  state 
wej-e  rich  in  horses  and  cattle,  but  less  given  to  agriculture. 
They  lived  much  in  the  open  air,  and  were  fierce,  impetuous, 
strong,  and  hardy.  They  were  fond  of  music  and  pleasure  at 
night.  Especially  characteristic  was  their  love  of  decoration  and 
display.  At  their  public  gatherings  they  decked  themselves  in 

24  COREA. 

dresses  embroidered  with  gold  and  silver.  Their  houses  were  also 
adorned  in  various  ways.  Their  chief  display  was  at  funerals, 
when  a  prodigal  outlay  of  precious  metals,  jewels,  and  embroi- 
deries was  exhibited. 

In  their  religion  they  sacrificed  to  Heaven,  to  the  spirits  of  the 
land,  and  of  the  harvests,  to  the  morning  star,  and  to  the  celestial 
and  invisible  powers.  There  were  no  prisons,  but  when  crimes 
were  committed  the  chiefs,  after  deliberation,  put  the  criminal  to 
death  and  reduced  the  wives  and  children  to  slavery.  In  this  way 
serfs  were  provided  for  labor.  In  their  burial  customs,  they 
made  a  cairn,  and  planted  fir-trees  around  it,  as  many  Japanese 
tombs  are  made. 

In  the  general  forms  of  their  social,  religious,  and  political  lif e, 
the  people  of  Fuyu  and  Kokorai  were  identical,  or  nearly  so ; 
while  both  closely  resemble  the  ancient  Japanese  of  Yamato. 

The  Chinese  authors  also  state  that  these  people  were  already 
in  possession  of  the  Confucian  classics,  and  had  attained  to  an  un- 
usual degree  of  literary  culture.  Their  officials  were  divided  into 
twelve  ranks,  which  was  also  the  ancient  Japanese .  number.  In 
the  method  of  divination,  in  the  wearing  of  flowery  costumes,  and 
in  certain  forms  of  etiquette,  they  and  the  Japanese  were  alike. 
As  is  now  well  known,  the  ancient  form  of  government  of  the 
Yamato  Japanese  (that  is,  of  the  conquering  race  from  Corea  and 
the  north)  was  a  rude  feudalism  and  not  a  monarchy.  Further, 
the  central  part  of  Japan,  first  held  by  the  ancestors  of  the  mi- 
kado, consists  of  Jive  provinces,  like  the  Kokorai  division,  into  five 
clans  or  tribes. 

At  the  opening  of  the  Christian  era  we  find  the  people  of  Ko- 
korai already  strong  and  restless  enough  to  excite  attention  from 
the  Chinese  court.  In  9  A.D.  they  were  recognized  as  a  nation 
with  their  own  "kings,"  and  classified  with  Huentu,  one  of  the 
districts  of  old  Cho-sen.  One  of  these  kings,  in  the  year  30,  sent 
tribute  to  the  Chinese  emperor.  In  50  A. D.  Kokorai,  by  invitation, 
sent  their  warriors  to  assist  the  Chinese  army  against  a  rebel  horde 
in  the  northwest.  In  A.D.  70  the  men  of  Kokorai  descended  upon 
Liao  Tung,  and  having  now  a  taste  for  border  war  and  conquest, 
they  marched  into  the  petty  kingdom  of  Wei,  which  lay  in  what  is 
now  the  extreme  northeast  of  Corea.  Absorbing  this  little  coun- 
try, they  kept  up  constant  warfare  against  the  Chinese.  Though 
their  old  kinsmen,  the  Fuyu  men,  were  at  times  allies  of  the  Han, 
yet  they  gradually  spread  themselves  eastward  and  southward,  so 


Fuyu  and  Manchiu. 

26  COREA. 

that  by  169  A.D.  the  Kokorai  kingdom  embraced  the  whole  of  the 
territory  of  old  Cho-sen,  or  of  Liao  Tung,  with  all  the  Corean 
peninsula  north  of  the,  Ta-tong,  and  even  to  the  Tumen  River. 

This  career  of  conquest  suffered  a  check  for  a  time,  when  a 
Chinese  expedition,  sailing  up  the  Yalu  River,  invested  the  capital 
city  of  the  king  and  defeated  his  army.  The  king  fled  beyond 
the  Tumen  Eiver.  Eight  thousand  people  are  said  to  have  been 
made  prisoners  or  slaughtered  by  the  Chinese.  For  a  time  it 
seemed  as  though  Kokorai  were  too  badly  crippled  to  move  again. 

Anarchy  broke  out  in  China,  on  the  fall  of  the  house  of  Han, 
A.D.  220,  and  lasted  for  half  a  century.  That  period  of  Chinese  his- 
tory, from  221  to  277,  is  called  the  "Epoch  of  the  Three  King- 
doms." During  this  period,  and  until  well  into  the  fifth  century, 
while  China  was  rent  into  "Northern"  and  "Southern"  divisions, 
the  military  activities  of  Kokorai  were  employed  with  varying  re- 
sults against  the  petty  kingdoms  that  rose  and  fell,  one  after  the 
other,  on  the  soil  between  the  Great  Wall  and  the  Yalu  Biver. 
During  this  time  the  nation,  free  from  the  power  and  oppression  of 
China,  held  her  own  and  compacted  her  power.  In  the  fifth  cen- 
tury her  warriors  had  penetrated  nearly  as  far  west  as  the  modern 
Peking  in  their  cavalry  raids.  Wily  in  diplomacy,  as  brave  in 
war,  they  sent  tribute  to  both  of  the  rival  claimants  for  the  throne 
of  China  which  were  likely  to  give  them  trouble  in  the  future. 
Dropping  the  family  name  of  their  first  king,  they  retained  that 
of  their  ancestral  home-land,  and  called  their  nation  Korai. 

Meanwhile,  as  they  multiplied  in  numbers,  the  migration  of  Ko- 
korai people,  henceforth  known  as  Korai  men,  set  steadily  south- 
ward. Weakness  in  China  meant  strength  in  Korai.  The  Chinese 
had  bought  peace  with  their  Eastern  neighbors  by  titles  and  gifts, 
which  left  the  Koraians  free  to  act  against  their  southern  neigh- 
bors. In  steadily  displacing  these,  they  came  into  collision  with 
the  little  kingdom  of  Hiaksai,  whose  history  will  be  narrated 
farther  on.  It  will  be  seen  that  the  Korai  men,  people  of  the 
Fuyu  race,  finally  occupied  the  territory  of  Hiaksai.  Already  the 
Koraians,  sure  of  further  conquest  southward,  fixed  their  capital  at 

In  589  A.D.  the  house  of  Sui  was  established  on  the  dragon 
throne,  and  a  portentous  message  was  sent  to  the  King  of  Korai, 
which  caused  the  latter  to  make  vigorous  war  preparations.  Evi- 
dently the  Chinese  emperor  meant  to  throttle  the  young  giant  of 
the  north,  while  the  young  giant  was  equally  determined  to  live. 


The  movement  of  a  marauding  force  of  Koraians,  even  to  the  inside 
of  the  Great  Wall,  gave  the  bearded  dragon  not  only  the  pretext 
of  w;ir  but  of  annexation. 

For  this  purpose  an  army  of  three  hundred  thousand  men  and 
a  fleet  of  several  hundred  war-junks  were  prepared.  The  latter 
were  to  sail  over  from  Shantung,  and  enter  the  Ta-tong  Eiver,  the 
goal  of  the  expedition  being  Ping-an  city,  the  Koraian  capital. 

The  horde  started  without  provisions,  and  arrived  in  mid-sum- 
mer at  the  Liao  River  in  want  of  food.  While  waiting,  during  the 
hot  weather,  in  this  malarious  and  muddy  region,  the  soldiers  died 
by  tons  of  thousands  of  fever  and  plague.  The  incessant  rains 
soon  rendered  the  roads  impassable  and  transport  of  provisions 
an  impossibility.  Disease  melted  the  mighty  host  away,  and  the 
army,  reduced  to  one-fifth  its  numbers,  was  forced  to  retreat.  The 
war- junks  fared  no  better,  for  storms  in  the  Yellow  Sea  drove  them 
back  or  foundered  them  by  the  score. 

Such  a  frightful  loss  of  life  and  material  did  not  deter  the 
next  emperor,  the  infamous  Yang  (who  began  the  Grand  Canal), 
froiE  following  out  the  scheme  of  his  father,  whom  he  conveni- 
ently poisoned  while  already  dying.  In  spite  of  the  raging  fam- 
ines and  losses  by  flood,  the  emperor  ordered  magazines  for  the 
armies  of  invasion  to  be  established  near  the  coast,  and  contin- 
gents of  troops  for  the  twenty-four  corps  to  be  raised  in  every 
province.  All  these  preparations  caused  local  famines  and  drove 
many  of  the  people  into  rebellion. 

This  army,  one  of  the  greatest  ever  assembled  in  China,  num- 
bered over  one  million  men.  Its  equipment  consisted  largely  of 
banners,  gongs,  and  trumpets.  The  undisciplined  horde  began 
their  march,  aiming  to  reach  the  Liao  Eiver  before  the  hot  season 
set  in.  They  found  the  Koraian  army  ready  to  dispute  their  pas- 
sage. Three  bridges,  hastily  constructed,  were  thrown  across  the 
stream,  on  which  horse  and  foot  pressed  eagerly  toward  the 
enemy.  The  width  of  the  river  had,  however,  been  miscalcula- 
ted md  the  bridges  were  too  short,  so  that  many  thousands  of  the 
Chii  tese  were  drowned  or  killed  by  the  Koraians,  at  unequal  odds, 
while  fighting  on  the  shore.  In  two  days,  however,  the  bridges 
wer<  *  lengthened  and  the  whole  force  crossed  over.  The  Chinese 
van  pursued  their  enemy,  slaughtering  ten  thousand  before  they 
could  gain  the  fortified  city  of  Liao  Tung.  Once  inside  their 
walls,  however,  the  Korai  soldiers  were  true  to  their  reputation  of 
beir.g  splendid  garrison  fighters.  Instead  of  easy  victory  the 

28  COREA. 

Chinese  army  lay  around  the  city  unable,  even  after  several 
months'  besieging,  to  breach  the  walls  or  weaken  the  spirit  of  the 

Meanwhile  the  other  division  had  marched  northward  and 
eastward,  according  to  the  plan  of  the  campaign.  Eight  of  these 
army  corps,  numbering  300,000  men,  arrived  and  went  into  camp 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  Yalu  River.  In  spite  of  express  orders  to 
the  contrary,  the  soldiers  had  thrown  away  most  of  the  hundred 
days'  rations  of  grain  with  which  they  started,  and  the  commissa- 
riat was  very  low.  The  Koraian  commander,  carrying  out  the 
Fabian  policy,  tempted  them  away  from  their  camp,  and  led  them 
by  skirmishing  parties  to  within  a  hundred  miles  of  Ping-an. 
The  Chinese  fleet  lay  within  a  few  leagues  of  the  invading  army, 
but  land  and  sea  forces  were  mutually  ignorant  of  each  other's  vi- 
cinity. Daring  not  to  risk  the  siege  of  a  city  so  well  fortified  by 
nature  and  art  as  Ping-an,  in  his  present  lack  of  supplies,  the  Chi- 
nese general  reluctantly  ordered  a  retreat,  which  began  in  late 
summer,  the  nearest  base  of  supplies  being  Liao  Tung,  four  hun- 
dred miles  away  and  through  an  enemy's  country. 

This  was  the  signal  for  the  Koraians  to  assume  the  offensive, 
and  like  the  Cossacks,  upon  the  army  of  Napoleon,  in  Russia,  they 
hung  upon  the  flanks  of  the  hungry  fugitives,  slaughtering  thou- 
sands upon  thousands. 

When  the  Chinese  host  were  crossing  the  Chin-chion  River, 
the  Koraian  army  fell  in  full  force  upon  them,  and  the  fall  of  the 
commander  of  their  rear-guard  turned  defeat  into  a  rout.  The 
disorderly  band  of  fugitives  rested  not  till  well  over  and  beyond 
the  Yalu  River.  Of  that  splendid  army  of  300,000  men  only  a 
few  thousand  reached  Liao  Tung  city.  The  weapons,  spoil,  and 
prisoners  taken  by  the  Koraians  were  "myriads  of  myriads  of 
myriads."  The  naval  forces  in  the  river,  on  hearing  the  amazing 
news  of  their  comrades'  defeat,  left  Corea  and  crept  back  to  China. 
The  Chinese  emperor  was  so  enraged  at  the  utter  failure  of  his 
prodigious  enterprise,  that  he  had  the  fugitive  officers  publicly 
put  to  death  as  an  example. 

In  spite  of  the  disasters  of  the  previous  year,  the  emperor 
Yang,  in  613,  again  sent  an  army  to  besiege  Liao  Tung  city.  On 
this  occasion  scaling  ladders,  150  feet  long,  and  towers,  mounted 
on  wheels,  were  used  with  great  effect.  Just  on  the  eve  of  the 
completion  of  their  greatest  work  and  tower  the  Chinese  camp 
was  suddenly  abandoned,  the  emperor  being  called  home  to  put 


down  a  formidable  rebellion.  So  cautious  were  the  besieged  and 
so  sulden  was  the  flight  of  the  besiegers,  that  it  was  noon  before 
a  Ko  :aian  ventured  into  camp,  and  two  days  elapsed  before  they 
discovered  that  the  retreat  was  not  feigned.  Then  the  Koraian 
garrison  attacked  the  Chinese  rear-guard  with  severe  loss. 

Tie  rebellion  at  home  having  been  put  down  the  emperor 
again  cherished  the  plan  of  crushing  Korai,  but  other  and  greater 
insurrections  broke  out  that  required  his  attention ;  for  the  three 
expeditions  against  Corea  had  wasted  the  empire  even  as  they  had 
sealed  the  doom  of  the  Sui  dynasty.  Though  no  land  forces  could 
be  spared,  a  new  fleet  was  sent  to  Corea  to  lay  siege  to  Ping-an  city. 
Even  with  large  portions  of  his  dominions  in  the  hands  of  rebels, 
Yang  never  gave  up  his  plan  of  humbling  Korai.  This  project 
was  ihe  cause  of  the  most  frightful  distress  in  China,  and  seeing 
no  liDpe  of  saving  the  country  except  by  the  murder  of  the  infa- 
mous emperor,  coward,  drunkard,  tyrant,  and  voluptuary,  a  band 
of  co  aspirators,  headed  by  Yii  Min,  put  him  to  death  and  Korai 
had  rest. 

To  summarize  this  chapter.  It  is  possible  that  Ki  Tsze  was 
the  founder  of  Fuyu.  The  Kokorai  tribes  were  people  who  had 
migrated  from  Fuyu,  and  settled  north  and  west  of  the  upper 
watei's  of  the  Yalu  River.  They  entered  into  relations  with  the 
Chinese  as  early  as  9  A.D.,  and  coming  into  collision  with  them  by 
the  year  70,  they  kept  up  a  fitful  warfare  with  them,  sustaining 
mighty  invasions,  until  the  seventh  century,  while  in  the  mean- 
time Korai,  instead  of  being  crushed  by  China,  grew  in  area  and 
numbers  until  the  nation  had  spread  into  the  peninsula,  and  over- 
run it  as  far  as  the  Han  Eiver. 

Thus  far  the  history  of  Corea  has  been  that  of  the  northern 
and  western  part  of  the  peninsula,  and  has  been  derived  chiefly 
from  Chinese  sources.  We  turn  now  to  the  southern  and  eastern 
portions,  and  in  narrating  their  history  we  shall  point  out  their 
relations  with  Japan  as  well  as  with  China,  relying  largely  for  our 
information  upon  the  Japanese  annals. 



AT  the  time  of  the  suppression  of  Cho-sen  and  the  incorpora- 
tion of  its  territory  with  the  Chinese  Empire,  B.C.  107,  all  Corea 

F  u  Y  u 

Map  of  Sam-han  in  Southern  Corea. 

south  of  the  Ta-tong  River  was  divided  into  three  han,  or  geo- 
graphical divisions.  Their  exact  boundaries  are  uncertain,  but 
their  general  topography  may  be  learned  from  the  map. 



This  little  country  included  fifty-four  tribes  or  clans,  each  one 
independent  of  the  other,  and  living  under  a  sort  of  patriarchal 
government.  The  larger  tribes  are  said  to  have  been  composed 
of  ten  thousand,  and  the  smaller  of  a  thousand,  families  each. 
Bound  numbers,  however,  in  ancient  records  are  worth  little  for 
critical  purposes. 

South  of  the  Ma-han  was  the  Ben-han,  in  which  were  twelve 
tribes,  having  the  same  manners  and  customs  as  the  Ma-han,  and 
speaking  a  different  yet  kindred  dialect.  One  of  these  clans 
formed  the  little  kingdom  of  Amana,  from  which  came  the  first 
visit  of  Coreans  recorded  in  the  Japanese  annals. 

After  the  overthrow  of  his  family  and  kingdom  by  the  traitor 
Wei-man,  Kijun,  the  king  of  old  Cho-sen  escaped  to  the  sea  and 
fled  south  toward  the  archipelago.  He  had  with  him  a  number 
of  Ms  faithful  adherents,  their  wives  and  children.  He  landed 
among  one  of  the  clans  of  Ma-han,  composed  of  Chinese  refugees, 
who,  not  wishing  to  live  under  the  Han  emperors,  had  crossed  the 
Yellow  Sea.  On  account  of  their  numbering,  originally,  one  hun- 
dred families,  they  called  themselves  Hiaksai.  Either  by  conquest 
or  invitation  Kijun  soon  became  their  king.  Glimpses  of  the 
manner  of  life  of  these  early  people  are  given  by  a  Chinese  writer. 

The  Ma-han  people  were  agricultural,  dwelling  in  villages,  but 
neither  driving  nor  riding  oxen  or  horses,  most  probably  because 
they  did  not  possess  them.  Their  huts  were  made  of  earth 
banked  upon  timber,  with  the  door  in  the  roof.  They  went  bare- 
headed, and  coiled  or  tied  their  hair  in  a  knot.  They  set  no  value 
on  gold,  jewels,  or  embroidery,  but  wore  pearls  sewed  on  their 
clothes  and  hung  on  their  necks  and  ears.  Perhaps  the  word  here 
translated  "pearl"  may  be  also  applied  to  drilled  stones  of  a 
cylindrical  or  curved  shape,  like  the  magatama,  or  "bent  jewels," 
of  the  ancient  Japanese.  They  shod  their  feet  with  sandals,  and 
wore  garments  of  woven  stuff.  In  etiquette  they  were  but  slightly 
advanced,  paying  little  honor  to  women  or  to  the  aged.  Like  our 
Indian  bucks,  the  young  men  tested  their  endurance  by  torture. 
Slitting  the  skin  of  the  back,  they  ran  a  cord  through  the  flesh, 
upon  which  was  hung  a  piece  of  wood.  This  was  kept  suspended 
til]  the  man,  unable  longer  to  endure  it,  cried  out  to  have  it  taken 

32  CORBA. 

After  the  field  work  was  over,  in  early  summer,  they  held 
drinking  bouts,  in  honor  of  the  spirits,  with  songs  and  dances. 
Scores  of  men,  quickly  following  each  other,  stamped  on  the 
ground  to  beat  time  as  they  danced.  In  the  late  autumn,  after 
harvests,  they  repeated  these  ceremonies.  In  each  clan  there  was 
a  man,  chosen  as  ruler,  to  sacrifice  to  the  spirits  of  heaven.  On 
a  great  pole  they  hung  drums  and  bells  for  the  service  of  the 
heavenly  spirits.  Perhaps  these  are  the  originals  of  the  tall  and 
slender  pagodas  with  their  pendant  wind-bells  at  the  many  eaves 
and  corners. 

Among  the  edible  products  of  Ma-han  were  fowls  with  tails  five 
feet  in  length.  These  "hens  with  tails  a  yard  long"  were  evi- 
dently pheasants — still  a  delicacy  on  Corean  tables.  The  large 
apple-shaped  pears,  which  have  a  wooden  taste,  half  way  between 
a  pear  and  an  apple,  were  then,  as  now,  produced  in  great  num- 
bers. The  flavor  improves  by  cooking. 

As  Kijun's  government  was  one  of  vigor,  his  subjects  advanced 
in  civilization,  the  Hiaksai  people  gradually  extended  their  au- 
thority and  influence.  The  clan  names  in  time  faded  away  or  be- 
came symbols  of  family  bonds  instead  of  governmental  authority, 
so  that  by  the  fourth  century  Hiaksai  had  become  paramount 
over  all  the  fifty-four  tribes  of  Ma-han,  as  well  as  over  some  of 
those  of  the  other  two  han. 

Thus  arose  the  kingdom  of  Hiaksai  (called  also  Kudara  by  the 
Japanese,  Petsi  by  the  Chinese,  and  Baiji  by  the  modern  Coreans), 
which  has  a  history  extending  to  the  tenth  century,  when  it  was 
extinguished  in  name  and  fact  in  united  Corea. 

Its  relations  with  Japan  were,  in  the  main,  friendly,  the  island- 
ers of  the  Sunrise  Kingdom  being  comrades  in  arms  with  them 
against  their  invaders,  the  Chinese,  and  their  hostile  neighbors, 
the  men  of  Shinra — whose  origin  we  shall  now  proceed  to  detail. 

After  the  fall  of  the  Tsin  dynasty  in  China,  a  small  body  of 
refugees,  leaving  their  native  seats,  fled  across  the  Yellow  Sea 
toward  the  Sea  of  Japan,  resting  only  when  over  the  great  moun- 
tain chain.  They  made  settlements  in  the  valleys  and  along  the 
sea-coast.  At  first  they  preserved  their  blood  and  language  pure, 
forming  one  of  the  twelve  clans  or  tribes  into  which  the  han  or 
country  was  divided. 


This  name  Shin  (China  or  Chinese),  which  points  to  the  origin 
of  tae  clan,  belonged  to  but  one  of  the  twelve  tribes  in  eastern 
Corea.  As  in  the  case  of  Hiaksai,  the  Shin  tribe,  being  possessed 
of  superior  power  and  intelligence,  extended  their  authority  and 
boundaries,  gradually  becoming  very  powerful.  Under  their 
twenty-second  hereditary  chief,  or  "king, "considering  themselves 
paramount  over  all  the  clans,  they  changed  the  name  of  their 
country  to  Shinra,  which  is  pronounced  in  Chinese  Sinlo. 

Between  the  years  29  and  70  A.D.,  according  to  the  Japanese 
histories,  an  'envoy  from  Shinra  arrived  in  Japan,  and  after  an 
aud.ence  had  of  the  mikado,  presented  him  with  mirrors,  swords, 
jadt ,  and  other  works  of  skill  and  art.  In  this  we  have  a  hint  as 
to  tae  origin  of  Japanese  decorative  art.  It  is  evident  from  these 
gifts,  as  well  as  from  the  reports  of  Chinese  historians  concern- 
ing the  refined  manners,  the  hereditary  aristocracy,  and  the  for- 
tified strongholds  of  the  Shinra  people,  that  their  grade  of  civili- 
zation was  much  higher  than  that  of  their  northern  neighbors. 
It  was  certainly  superior  to  that  of  the  Japanese,  who,  as  we 
shall  see,  were  soon  tempted  to  make  descents  upon  the  fertile 
lands,  rich  cities,  and  defenceless  coasts  of  their  visitors  from  the 

How  long  the  Chinese  colonists  who  settled  in  Shin-han  pre- 
served their  language  and  customs  is  not  known.  Though  these 
were  lost  after  a  few  generations,  yet  it  is  evident  that  their  influ- 
ence on  the  aborigines  of  the  country  was  very  great.  From  first 
to  last  Shinra  excelled  in  civilization  all  the  petty  states  in  the 
peninsula,  of  which  at  first  there  were  seventy-eight.  Unlike  the 
Ma-han,  the  Shin-han  people  lived  in  palisaded  cities,  and  in 
houses  the  doors  of  which  were  on  the  ground  and  not  on  the 
roof.  They  cultivated  mulberry-trees,  reared  the  silk-worm,  and 
wove  silk  into  fine  fabrics.  They  used  wagons  with  yoked  oxen, 
and  horses  for  draught,  and  practised  "the  law  of  the  road." 
Marriage  was  conducted  with  appropriate  ceremony.  Dancing, 
drinking,  and  singing  were  favorite  amusements,  and  the  lute  was 
played  in  addition  to  drums.  They  understood  the  art  of  smelt- 
ing and  working  iron,  and  used  this  metal  as  money.  They  car- 
ried on  trade  with  the  other  han,  and  with  Japan.  How  far  these 
arts  owed  their  encouragement  or  origin  to  traders,  or  travelling 
merchants  from  China,  is  not  known.  Evidently  Shinra  enjoyed 
leadership  in  the  peninsula,  largely  from  her  culture,  wealth,  and 
knowledge  of  iron.  The  curious  custom,  so  well  known  among 

34  COBEA. 

American  savages,  of  flattening  the  heads  of  newly  born  infants,  is 
noted  among  the  Shin-han  people. 

Neither  Chinese  history  nor  Japanese  tradition,  though  they 
give  us  some  account  of  a  few  hundred  families  of  emigrants  from 
China  who  settled  in  the  already  inhabited  Corean  peninsula,  throws 
any  light  on  the  aborigines  as  to  whence  or  when  they  came.  The 
curtain  is  lifted  only  to  show  us  that  a  few  people  are  already 
there,  with  language  and  customs  different  from  those  of  China. 
The  descendants  of  the  comparatively  few  Chinese  settlers  were 
no  doubt  soon  lost,  with  their  language  and  ancestral  customs, 
among  the  mass  of  natives.  These  aboriginal  tribes  were  destined 
to  give  way  to  a  new  people  from  the  far  north,  as  we  shall  learn 
in  our  further  narrative.  The  Japanese  historians  seem  to  distin- 
guish between  the  San  Han,  the  three  countries  or  confederacies 
of  loosely  organized  tribes,  and  the  San  Goku,  or  Three  Kingdoms. 
The  Coreans,  however,  speak  only  of  the  Sam-han,  meaning 
thereby  the  three  political  divisions  of  the  peninsula,  and  using 
the  word  as  referring  rather  to  the  epoch.  The  common  "  cash," 
or  fractional  coin  current  in  the  country,  bears  the  characters 
meaning  "  circulating  medium  of  the  Three  Kingdoms,"  or  Sam- 
han.  These  were  Korai  in  the  north,  Shinra  in  the  southeast,  and 
Hiaksai  in  the  southwest.  Other  Japanese  names  for  these  were 
respectively  Kome,  Shiriaki,  and  Kudara,  the  Chinese  terms  being 
Kaoli,  Sinlo,  and  Pe-tsi. 

Like  the  three  kingdoms  of  England,  Scotland,  and  "Wales, 
called  also  Britannia,  Caledonia,  and  Cambria,  these  Corean  states 
were  distinct  in  origin,  were  conquered  by  a  race  from  without, 
received  a  rich  infusion  of  alien  blood,  struggled  in  rivalry  for 
centuries,  and  were  finally  united  into  one  nation,  with  one  flag 
and  one  sovereign. 

Coin  of  the  Sam-han  or  the  Three  Kingdoms.     "  Sam-han,  Current  Treasure." 



THE  history  of  the  peninsular  states  from  the  time  in  which  it  is 
firnt  known  until  the  tenth  century,  is  that  of  almost  continuous 
crvil  war  or  border  fighting.  The  boundaries  of  the  rival  king- 
do  oas  changed  from  time  to  time  as  raid  and  reprisal,  victory  or 
defeat,  turned  the  scale  of  war.  A  series  of  maps  of  the  penin- 
sula expressing  the  political  situation  during  each  century  or 
half-century  would  show  many  variations  of  boundaries,  and  re- 
semble those  of  Great  Britain  when  the  various  native  and  con- 
tinental tribes  were  struggling  for  its  mastery.  Something  like 
an  attempt  to  depict  these  changes  in  the  political  geography  of 
tho  peninsula  has  been  made  by  the  Japanese  historian,  Otsuki 
Toyo,  in  his  work  entitled  "Historical  Periods  and  Changes  of  the 
Japanese  Empire." 

Yet  though  our  narrative,  through  excessive  brevity,  seems  to  be 
only  a  picture  of  war,  we  must  not  forget  that  Hiaksai,  once  low- 
est in  civilization,  rapidly  became,  and  for  a  while  continued,  the 
leading  state  in  the  peninsula.  It  held  the  lead  in  literary  culture 
until  crushed  by  China.  The  classics  of  Confucius  and  Mencius, 
with  letters,  writing,  and  their  whole  train  of  literary  blessings, 
were  introduced  first  to  the  peninsula  in  Hiaksai.  In  374  A.D. 
Ko-ken  was  appointed  a  teacher  or  master  of  Chinese  literature, 
and  enthusiastic  scholars  gathered  at  the  court.  Buddhism  fol- 
lowed with  its  educational  influences,  becoming  a  focus  of  light 
and  culture.  As  early  as  372  A.D.  an  apostle  of  northern  Buddh- 
ism had  penetrated  into  Liao  Tung,  and  perhaps  across  the 
Yalu.  In  384  A.D.  the  missionary  Marananda,  a  Thibetan,  for- 
ms illy  established  temples  and  monasteries  in  Hiaksai,  in  which 
women  as  well  as  men  became  scholastics.  Long  before  this  new 
element  of  civilization  was  rooted  in  Shinra  or  Korai,  the  faith  of 
India  was  established  and  flourishing  in  the  little  kingdom  of  Hi- 
aksai, so  that  its  influences  were  felt  as  far  as  Japan.  The  first 

36  COREA. 

teacher  of  Chinese  letters  and  ethics  in  Nippon  was  a  Corean 
named  Wani,  as  was  also  the  first  missionary  who  carried  the  im- 
ages and  sutras  of  northern  Buddhism  across  the  Sea  of  Japan. 
To  Hiaksai  more  than  to  any  other  Corean  state  Japan  owes  her 
first  impulse  toward  the  civilization  of  the  west. 

Hiaksai  came  into  collision  with  Kokorai  as  early  as  345  A.D., 
at  which  time  also  Shinra  suffered  the  loss  of  several  cities.  In 
the  fifth  century  a  Chinese  army,  sent  by  one  of  the  emperors  of 
the  Wei  dynasty  to  enforce  the  payment  of  tribute,  was  defeated 
by  Hiaksai.  Such  unexpected  military  results  raised  the  reputa- 
tion of  "the  eastern  savages"  so  high  in  the  imperial  mind,  that  the 
emperor  offered  the  King  of  Hiaksai  the  title  of  "  Great  Protector 
of  the  Eastern  Frontier."  By  this  act  the  independence  of  the 
little  kingdom  was  virtually  recognized.  In  the  sixth  century, 
having  given  and  received  Chinese  aid  and  comfort  in  alliance 
with  Shinra  against  Korai,  Hiaksai  was  ravaged  in  her  borders  by 
the  troops  of  her  irate  neighbor  on  the  north.  Later  on  we  find 
these  two  states  in  peace  with  each  other  and  allied  against  Shin- 
ra, which  had  become  a  vassal  of  the  Tang  emperors  of  China. 

From  this  line  of  China's  rulers  the  kingdoms  of  Korai  and 
Hiaksai  were  to  receive  crushing  blows.  In  answer  to  Shinra's 
prayer  for  aid,  the  Chinese  emperor,  in  660,  despatched  from 
Shantung  a  fleet  of  several  hundred  sail  with  100,000  men  on 
board.  Against  this  host  from  the  west  the  Hiaksai  army  could 
make  little  resistance,  though  they  bravely  attacked  the  invaders, 
but  only  to  be  beaten.  After  a  victory  near  the  mouth  of  the 
Kin-yin  River,  the  Chinese  marched  at  once  to  the  capital  of  Hi- 
aksai and  again  defeated,  with  terrible  slaughter,  the  provincial 
army.  The  king  fled  to  the  north,  and  the  city  being  nearly 
empty  of  defenders,  the  feeble  garrison  opened  the  gates.  The 
Tang  banners  fluttered  on  all  the  walls,  and  another  state  was  ab- 
sorbed in  the  Chinese  empire.  For  a  time  Hiaksai,  like  a  fly 
snapped  up  by  an  angry  dog,  is  lost  in  China. 

Not  long,  however,  did  the  little  kingdom  disappear  from 
sight.  In  670  a  Buddhist  priest,  fired  with  patriotism,  raised  an 
army  of  monks  and  priests,  and  joining  Fuku-shin  (Fu-sin),  a 
brave  general,  they  laid  siege  to  a  city  held  by  a  large  Chinese 
garrison.  At  the  same  time  they  sent  word  to  the  emperor  of 
Japan  praying  for  succor  against  the  "robber  kingdom."  They 
also  begged  that  Hosho  (Fung),  the  youthful  son  of  the  late  king, 
then  a  hostage  and  pupil  at  the  mikado's  court,  might  be  invested 


with  the  royal  title  and  sent  home.  The  mikado  despatched  a 
fleet  of  400  junks  and  a  large  body  of  soldiers  to  escort  the  royal 
heir  homeward.  On  his  arrival  Hosho  was  proclaimed  king. 

Meanwhile  the  priest-army  and  the  forces  under  Fuku-shin 
had  reconquered  nearly  all  their  territory,  when  they  suffered  a 
severe  defeat  near  the  sea-coast  from  the  large  Chinese  force 
hastily  despatched  to  put  down  the  rebellion.  The  invaders 
marched  eastward  and  effected  a  junction  with  the  forces  of 
Shinra.  The  prospects  of  Hiaksai  were  now  deplorable. 

For  even  among  the  men  of  Hiaksai  there  was  no  unity  of  pur- 
pose. Fuku-shin  had  put  the  priest-leader  to  death,  which  arbi- 
trary act  so  excited  the  suspicions  of  the  king  that  he  in  turn 
ordered  his  general  to  be  beheaded.  He  then  sent  to  Japan,  ap- 
pealing for  reinforcements.  The  mikado,  willing  to  help  an  old 
ally,  and  fearing  that  the  Chinese,  if  victorious,  might  invade  his 
own  dominions,  quickly  responded.  The  Japanese  contingent  ar- 
rived and  encamped  near  the  mouth  of  the  Han  River,  prepara- 
tory to  a  descent  by  sea  upon  Shinra.  Unsuspecting  the  near 
presence  of  an  enemy,  the  allies  neglected  their  usual  vigilance. 
A  fleet  of  war-junks,  flying  the  Tang  streamers,  suddenly  ap- 
peared off  the  camp,  and  while  the  Japanese  were  engaging  these, 
the  Chinese  land  forces  struck  them  in  flank.  Taken  by  surprise, 
the  mikado's  warriors  were  driven  like  flocks  of  sheep  into  the 
water  and  drowned  or  shot  by  the  Chinese  archers.  The  Japanese 
ve&sels  were  burned  as  they  lay  at  anchor  in  the  bloody  stream, 
and  the  remnants  of  the  beaten  army  got  back  to  their  islands  in 
pitiable  fragments.  Hosho,  after  witnessing  the  destruction  of 
his  host,  fled  to  Korai,  and  the  country  was  given  over  to  the 
waste  and  pillage  of  the  infuriated  Chinese.  The  royal  line,  after 
thirty  generations  and  nearly  seven  centuries  of  rule,  became  ex- 
tinct. The  sites  of  cities  became  the  habitations  of  tigers,  and 
on<;e  fertile  fields  were  soon  overgrown.  Large  portions  of  Hiak- 
sai became  a  wilderness. 

Though  the  Chinese  Government  ordered  the  bodies  of  those 
killed  in  war  and  the  white  bones  of  the  victims  of  famine  to  be 
buried,  yet  many  thousands  of  Hiaksai  families  fled  elsewhere  to 
find  an  asylum  and  to  found  new  industries.  The  people  who 
remained  on  their  fertile  lands,  as  well  as  all  Southern  Corea,  fell 
under  the  sway  of  Shinra. 

The  fragments  of  the  beaten  Japanese  army  gradually  returned 
to  their  native  country  or  settled  in  Southern  Corea.  Thousands 

38  CORE^.. 

of  the  people  of  Hiaksai,  detesting  the  idea  of  living  as  slaves  oi 
China,  accompanied  or  followed  their  allies  to  Japan.  On  their 
arrival,  by  order  of  the  mikado,  400  emigrants  of  both  sexes  were 
located  in  the  province  of  Omi,  and  over  2,000  were  distributed  in 
the  Kuanto,  or  Eastern  Japan.  These  colonies  of  Coreans  founded 
potteries,  and  their  descendants,  mingled  by  blood  with  the  Japan- 
ese, follow  the  trade  of  their  ancestors. 

In  710  another  body  of  Hiaksai  people,  dissatisfied  with  the 
poverty  of  the  country  and  tempted  by  the  offers  of  the  Japan- 
ese, formed  a  colony  numbering  1,800  persons  and  emigrated 
to  Japan.  They  were  settled  in  Musashi,  the  province  in  which 
Tokio,  the  modern  capital,  is  situated.  Various  other  emi- 
grations of  Coreans  to  Japan  of  later  date  are  referred  to  in  the 
annals  of  the  latter  country,  and  it  is  fair  to  presume  that  tens  of 
thousands  of  emigrants  from  the  peninsula  fled  from  the  Tang  in- 
vasion and  mingled  with  the  islanders,  producing  the  composite 
race  that  inhabit  the  islands  ruled  by  the  mikado.  Among  the 
refugees  were  many  priests  and  nuns,  who  brought  their  books 
and  learning  to  the  court  at  Nara,  and  thus  diffused  about  them  a 
literary  atmosphere.  The  establishment  of  schools,  the  awaken- 
ing of  the  Japanese  intellect,  and  the  first  beginnings  of  the  litera- 
ture of  Japan,  the  composition  of  their  oldest  historical  books, 
the  Kojiki  and  the  Nihongi — all  the  fruits  of  the  latter  half  of  the 
seventh  and  early  part  of  the  eighth  century — are  directly  trace- 
able to  this  influx  of  the  scholars  of  Hiaksai,  which  being  de- 
stroyed by  China,  lived  again  in  Japan.  Even  the  pronunciation 
of  the  Chinese  characters  as  taught  by  the  Hiaksai  teachers  re- 
mains to  this  day.  One  of  them,  the  nun  Homio,  a  learned  lady, 
made  her  system  so  popular  among  the  scholars  that  even  an  im- 
perial proclamation  against  it  could  not  banish  it.  She  established 
her  school  in  Tsushima,  A.D.  655,  and  there  taught  that  system  of 
[Chinese]  pronunciation  [Go-on]  which  still  holds  sway  in  Japan, 
among  the  ecclesiastical  literati,  in  opposition  to  the  Kan-on  of  the 
secular  scholars.  The  Go-on,  the  older  of  the  two  pronunciations,  is 
that  of  ancient  North  China,  the  Kan-on  is  that  of  mediaeval  South- 
ern China  (Nanking).  Corea  and  Japan  having  phonetic  alpha- 
bets have  preserved  and  stereotyped  the  ancient  Chinese  pronun- 
ciation better  than  the  Chinese  language  itself,  since  the  Chinese 
have  no  phonetic  writing,  but  only  ideographic  characters,  the 
pronunciation  of  which  varies  during  the  progress  of  centuries. 

Hiaksai  had  given  Buddhism  to  Japan  as  early  as  552  A.D.,  but 


opposition  had  prevented  its  spread,  the  temple  was  set  on  fire, 
and  the  images  of  Buddha  thrown  in  the  river.  In  684  one 
Say£ki  brought  another  image  of  Buddha  from  Corea,  and  Umako, 
son  af  Iname,  a  minister  at  the  mikado's  court,  enshrined  it  in  a 
chapel  on  his  own  grounds.  He  made  Yeben  and  Simata,  two 
Coreans,  his  priests,  and  his  daughter  a  nun.  They  celebrated  a 
festival,  and  henceforth  Buddhism1  grew  apace. 

The  country  toward  the  sunrise  was  then  a  new  land  to  the 
peninsulars,  just  as  "the  West"  is  to  us,  or  Australia  is  to  Eng- 
land ;  and  Japan  made  these  fugitives  welcome.  In  their  train 
came  industry,  learning,  and  skill,  enriching  the  island  kingdom 
witt  the  best  infusion  of  blood  and  culture. 

J3jaksai  was  the  first  of  the  three  kingdoms  that  was  weak- 
ened by  civil  war  and  then  fell  a  victim  to  Chinese  lust  of  con- 

The  progress  and  fall  of  the  other  two  kingdoms  will  now  be 
narrated.  Beginning  with  Korai,  we  shall  follow  its  story  from 
the  year  613  A.D.,  when  the  invading  hordes  of  the  Tang  dynasty 
had  been  driven  out  of  the  peninsula  with  such  awful  slaughter 
by  ihe  Koraians. 

1  There  are  colossal  stone  images  at  Pe-chiu  (Pha-jin)  in  the  capital  prov- 
ince and  at  Un-jin  in  Chung-chong  Do.  The  former,  discovered  by  Lieuten- 
ant -T.  G.  Bernadon,  U.S.N. ,  are  in  the  midst  of  a  fir- wood,  and  are  carved  in 
half  figure  out  of  bowlders  in  place,  the  heads  and  caps  projecting  over  the 
tops  of  the  trees.  One  wears  a  square  cap  and  the  other  a  round  one,  from 
which  Mr.  G.  W.  Aston  conjectures  that  they  symbolize  the  male  and  female 
elements  in  nature  (p.  329).  At  Un-jin  in  Chung-chong  Do  Mr.  G.  C.  Foulke, 
U.S.N.,  saw,  at  a  distance  of  fifteen  miles,  what  seemed  to  be  a  lighthouse. 
On  approach,  this  half-length  human  figure  proved  to  be  a  pinnacle  of  white 
granite,  sixty-four  feet  high,  cut  into  a  representation  of  Buddha.  Similar  may  perhaps  be  discovered  elsewhere.  Coreans  call  such  figures  mi- 
ryek  (stone  men,  as  the  Chinese  characters  given  in  the  French-Corean  dic- 
tionary read),  or  mtriok,  from  the  Chinese  Mi~le,  or  Buddha.  (In  Japanese, 
the  Buddha  to  come  is  Miroku-butsu — a  verbal  coincidence.)  Professor  Terrien 
de  Lacouperie  has  written  upon  this  theme  with  great  learning.  Besides  the 
lop-oars,  forehead-mark,  and  traditional  countenance  seen  in  the  Buddhas  of 
Chinese  Asia,  there  is  on  the  Un-jin  figure  a  very  high  double  cap,  on  which 
are  ^et  two  slabs  of  stone  joined  by  a  central  column,  suggesting  both  the  cere- 
monial cap  of  ancient  Chinese  ritual  and  the  Indian  pagoda-like  umbrella. 
These  miriok  stand  in  what  was  once  Hiaksai.  In  his  "Life  in  Corea,"  Mr. 
Carles  gives  a  picture  of  the  one  at  Un-jin.  Smaller  ones  exist  near  monas- 
teri(  s  and  temples. 



AFTER  the  struggle  in  which  the  Corean  tiger  had  worsted  the 
Western  Dragon,  early  in  the  seventh  century,  China  and  Korai 
were  for  a  generation  at  peace.  The  bones  of  the  slain  were 
buried,  and  sacrificial  fires  for  the  dead  soothed  the  spirits  of  the 
victims.  The  same  imperial  messenger,  who  in  622  was  sent  to 
supervise  these  offices  of  religion,  also  visited  each  of  the  courts 
of  the  three  kingdoms.  So  successful  was  he  in  his  mission  of 
peaceful  diplomacy,  that  each  of  the  Corean  states  sent  envoys 
with  tribute  and  congratulation  to  the  imperial  throne.  In  proof 
of  his  good  wishes,  the  emperor  returned  to  his  vassals  all  his 
prisoners,  and  declared  that  their  young  men  would  be  re- 
ceived as  students  in  the  Imperial  University  at  his  capital. 
Henceforth,  as  in  many  instances  during  later  centuries,  the 
sons  of  nobles  and  promising  youth  from  Korai,  Shinra,  and 
Hiaksai  went  to  study  at  Nanking,  where  their  envoys  met  the 
Arab  traders. 

Korai  having  been  divided  into  five  provinces,  or  circuits, 
named  respectively  the  Home,  North,  South,  East,  and  West  divi- 
sions, extended  from  the  Sea  of  Japan  to  the  Liao  River,  and  en- 
joyed a  brief  spell  of  peace,  except  always  on  the  southern  border ; 
for  the  chronic  state  of  Korai  and  Shinra  was  that  of  mutual  hos- 
tility. On  the  north,  beyond  the  Tumen  Eiver,  was  the  kingdom 
of  Pu-hai,  with  which  Korai  was  at  peace,  and  Japan  was  in  inti- 
mate relations,  and  China  at  jealous  hostility. 

The  Chinese  court  soon  began  to  look  with  longing  eyes  on 
the  territory  of  that  part  of  Korai  lying  west  of  the  Yalu  River, 
believing  it  to  be  a  geographical  necessity  that  it  should  become 
their  scientific  frontier,  while  the  emperor  cherished  the  hope  of 
soon  rectifying  it.  Though  unable  to  forget  the  fact  that  one  of 
his  predecessors  had  wasted  millions  of  lives  and  tons  of  treasure 
in  vainly  attempting  to  humble  Kokorai,  his  ambition  and  pride 


spurred  him  on  to  wade  through  slaughter  to  conquest  and  re- 
venge. He  waited  only  for  a  pretext. 

This  time  the  destinies  of  the  Eastern  Kingdom  were  pro- 
foundly influenced  by  the  character  of  the  feudalism  brought  into 
it  from  ancient  times,  and  which  was  one  of  the  characteristic  insti- 
tutions of  the  Fuyu  race. 

The  Government  of  Korai  was  simply  that  of  a  royal  house, 
holding,  by  more  or  less  binding  ties  of  loyalty,  powerful  nobles, 
who  in  turn  held  their  lands  on  feudal  tenure.  In  certain  con- 
tingencies these  noble  land-holders  were  scarcely  less  powerful 
than  the  king  himself. 

In  641  one  of  these  liegemen,  whose  ambition  the  king  had  in 
vain  attempted  to  curb  and  even  to  put  to  death,  revenged  him- 
self by  killing  the  king  with  his  own  hands.  He  then  proclaimed 
as  sovereign  the  nephew  of  the  dead  king,  and  made  himself 
prime  minister.  Having  thus  the  control  of  all  power  in  the  state, 
and  being  a  man  of  tremendous  physical  strength  and  mental 
ability,  all  the  people  submitted  quietly  to  the  new  order  of 
things,  and  were  at  the  same  time  diverted,  being  sent  to  ravage 
Shinra,  annexing  all  the  country  down  to  the  37th  parallel.  The 
Chinese  emperor  gave  investiture  to  the  new  king,  but  ordered 
this  Corean  Warwick  to  recall  his  troops  from  invading  Shinra, 
the  nlly  of  China.  The  minister  paid  his  tribute  loyally,  but  re- 
fused to  acknowledge  the  right  of  China  to  interfere  in  Corean 
politics.  The  tribute  was  then  sent  back  with  insult,  and  war  be- 
ing certain  to  follow,  Korai  prepared  for  the  worst.  War  with 
China  has  been  so  constant  a  phenomenon  in  Corean  history  that 
a  special  term,  Ho-ran,  exists  and  is  common  in  the  national  an- 
nals, since  the  "  Chinese  wars  "  have  been  numbered  by  the  score. 

Again  the  sails  of  an  invading  fleet  whitened  the  waters  of  the 
Yellow  Sea,  carrying  the  Chinese  army  of  chastisement  that  was 
to  land  at  the  head  of  the  peninsula,  while  two  bodies  of  troops 
were  despatched  by  different  routes  landward.  The  Tang  em- 
peror was  a  stanch  believer  in  Whang  Ti,  the  Asiatic  equivalent 
of  the  European  doctrine  of  the  divine  right  of  kings  to  reign — a 
tenet  as  easily  found  by  one  looking  for  it  in  the  Confucian  clas- 
sics, as  in  the  Hebrew  scriptures.  He  professed  to  be  marching 
simply  to  vindicate  the  honor  of  majesty  and  to  punish  the  regi- 
cide rebel,  but  not  to  harm  nobles  or  people.  The  invaders  soon 
overran  Liao  Tung,  and  city  after  city  fell.  The  emperor  himself 
accompanied  the  army  and  burned  his  bridges  after  the  crossing 

42  COREA. 

of  every  river.  In  spite  of  the  mud  and  the  summer  rains  he 
steadily  pushed  his  way  on,  helping  with  his  own  hands  in  the 
works  at  the  sieges  of  the  walled  cities — the  ruins  of  which  still 
litter  the  plains  of  Liao  Tung.  In  one  of  these,  captured  only 
after  a  protracted  investment,  10,000  Koraians  are  said  to  have 
been  slain.  In  case  of  submission  on  summons,  or  after  a  slight 
defence,  the  besieged  were  leniently  and  even  kindly  treated. 
By  July  all  the  country  west  of  the  Yalu  was  in  possession  of  the 
Chinese,  who  had  crossed  the  river  and  arrived  at  Anchiu,  only 
forty  miles  north  of  Ping-an  city. 

By  tremendous  personal  energy  and  a  general  levy  in  mass,  an 
army  of  150,000  Korai  men  was  sent  against  the  Chinese,  which 
took  up  a  position  on  a  hill  about  three  miles  from  the  city.  The 
plan  of  the  battle  that  ensued,  made  by  the  Chinese  emperor  him- 
self, was  skilfully  carried  out  by  his  lieutenants,  and  a  total  defeat 
of  the  entrapped  Koraian  army  followed,  the  slain  numbering 
20,000.  The  next  day,  with  the  remnant  of  his  army,  amounting 
to  40,000  men,  the  Koraian  general  surrendered.  Fifty  thousand 
horses  and  10,000  coats  of  mail  were  among  the  spoils.  The  foot 
soldiers  were  dismissed  and  ordered  home,  but  the  Koraian  lead- 
ers were  made  prisoners  and  marched  into  China. 

After  so  crushing  a  loss  in  men  and  material,  one  might  expect 
instant  surrender  of  the  besieged  city.  So  far  from  this,  the  gar- 
rison redoubled  the  energy  of  their  defence.  In  this  we  see  a 
striking  trait  of  the  Corean  military  character  which  has  been  no- 
ticed from  the  era  of  the  Tangs,  and  before  it,  down  to  Admiral 
Eodgers.  Chinese,  Japanese,  French,  and  Americans  have  experi- 
enced the  fact  and  marvelled  thereat.  It  is  that  the  Coreans  are 
poor  soldiers  in  the  open  field  and  exhibit  slight  proof  of  personal 
valor.  They  cannot  face  a  dashing  foe  nor  endure  stubborn  fight- 
ing. But  put  the  same  men  behind  walls,  bring  them  to  bay,  and 
the  timid  stag  amazes  the  hounds.  Their  whole  nature  seems  re- 
inforced. They  are  more  than  brave.  Their  courage  is  sublime. 
They  fight  to  the  last  man,  and  fling  themselves  on  the  bare 
steel  when  the  foe  clears  the  parapet.  The  Japanese  of  1592 
looked  on  the  Corean  in  the  field  as  a  kitten,  but  in  the  castle  as 
a  tiger.  The  French,  in  1866,  never  found  a  force  that  could  face 
rifles,  though  behind  walls  the  same  men  were  invincible.  The 
American  handful  of  tars  kept  at  harmless  distance  thousands  of 
black  heads  in  the  open,  but  inside  the  fort  they  met  giants  in 
bravery.  No  nobler  foe  ever  met  American  steel.  Even  when  dis- 


armed  they  fought  their  enemies  with  dust  and  stones  until  slain 
to  the  last  man.  The  sailors  found  that  the  sheep  in  the  field 
were  lions  in  the  fort. 

The  Coreans  themselves  knew  both  their  forte  and  their  foible, 
and  so  understood  how  to  foil  the  invader  from  either  sea.  Shut 
out  from  the  rival  nations  on  the  right  hand  and  on  the  left  by 
the  treacherous  sea,  buttressed  on  the  north  by  lofty  mountains, 
and  separated  from  China  by  a  stretch  of  barren  or  broken  land, 
the  peninsula  is  easily  secure  against  an  invader  far  from  his  base 
of  supplies.  The  ancient  policy  of  the  Coreans,  by  which  they 
over  a?id  over  again  foiled  their  mighty  foe  and  finally  secured 
their  independence,  was  to  shut  themselves  up  in  their  well-pro- 
visioned cities  and  castles,  and  not  only  beat  off  but  starve  away 
their  foes.  In  their  state  of  feudalism,  when  every  city  and  strate- 
gic tovm  of  importance  was  well  fortified,  this  was  easily  accom- 
plished. The  ramparts  gave  them  shelter,  and  their  personal  valor 
secured  the  rest.  Reversing  the  usual  process  of  starving  out  a 
beleaguered  garrison,  the  besiegers,  unable  to  fight  on  empty 
stomachs,  were  at  last  obliged  to  raise  the  siege  and  go  home. 
Long  persistence  in  this  resolute  policy  finally  saved  Corea 
from  the  Chinese  colossus,  and  preserved  her  individuality  among 

Faithful  to  their  character,  as  above  set  forth,  the  Koraians 
held  their  own  in  the  city  of  Anchiu,  and  the  Chinese  could  make 
no  impression  upon  it.  In  spite  of  catapults,  scaling  ladders, 
•movable  towers,  and  artificial  mounds  raised  higher  than  the 
walls,  the  Koraians  held  out,  and  by  sorties  bravely  captured  or 
destroyed  the  enemy's  works.  Not  daring  to  leave  such  a  fortified 
city  in  their  rear,  the  Chinese  could  not  advance  further,  while 
their  failing  provisions  and  the  advent  of  frost  showed  them  that 
they  must  retreat. 

Hungrily  they  turned  their  faces  toward  China. 

In  spite  of  the  intense  chagrin  of  the  foiled  Chinese  leader,  so 
great  was  his  admiration  for  the  valor  of  the  besieged  that  he  sent 
the  Koraian  commander  a  valuable  present  of  rolls  of  silk.  The 
Koraians  were  unable  to  pursue  the  flying  invaders,  and  few  fell 
by  their  weapons.  But  hunger,  the  fatigue  of  crossing  impassa- 
ble oceans  of  worse  than  Virginia  mud,  cold  winds,  and  snow 
storim  destroyed  thousands  of  the  Chinese  on  their  weary  home- 
ward march  over  the  mountain  passes  and  quagmires  of  Liao 
Tung.  The  net  results  of  the  campaign  were  great  glory  to  Korai ; 

44  COREA. 

and  besides  the  loss  of  ten  cities,  70,000  of  her  sons  were  captives 
in  China,  and  40,000  lay  in  battle  graves. 

According  to  a  custom  which  Californians  have  learned  in  our 
day,  the  bones  of  the  Chinese  soldiers  who  died  or  were  killed  in 
the  campaign  were  collected,  brought  into  China,  and,  with  due 
sacrificial  rites  and  lamentations  by  the  emperor,  solemnly  buried 
in  their  native  soil.  Irregular  warfare  still  continued  between  the 
two  countries,  the  offered  tribute  of  Korai  being  refused,  and  the 
emperor  waiting  until  his  resources  would  justify  him  in  sending 
another  vast  fleet  and  army  against  defiant  Korai.  While  thus 
waiting  he  died. 

After  a  few  years  of  peace,  his  successor  found  occasion  for 
war,  and,  in  660  A.D.,  despatched  the  expedition  which  crushed 
Hiaksai,  the  ally  of  Korai,  and  worried,  without  humbling,  the  lat- 
ter state.  In  664  Korai  lost  its  able  leader,  the  regicide  prime 
minister — that  rock  against  which  the  waves  of  Chinese  invasion 
had  dashed  again  and  again  in  vain. 

His  son,  who  would  have  succeeded  to  the  office  of  his  father, 
was  opposed  by  his  brother.  The  latter,  fleeing  to  China,  became 
guide  to  the  hosts  again  sent  against  Korai  "to  save  the  people 
and  to  chastise  their  rebellious  chiefs."  This  time  Korai,  without 
a  leader,  was  doomed.  The  Chinese  armies  having  their  rear  well 
secured  by  a  good  base  of  supplies,  and  being  led  by  skilful  com- 
manders, marched  on  from  victory  to  victory,  until,  at  the  Yalu 
River,  the  various  detachments  united,  and  breaking  the  front  of 
the  Korai  army,  scattered  them  and  marched  on  to  Ping-an.  The 
city  surrendered  without  the  discharge  of  an  arrow.  The  line  of 
kings  of  Korai  came  to  an  end  after  twenty-eight  generations,  rul- 
ing over  700  years. 

All  Korai,  with  its  five  provinces,  its  176  cities,  and  its  four  or 
five  millions  of  people,  was  annexed  to  the  Chinese  empire.  Tens 
of  thousands  of  Koraian  refugees  fled  into  Shinra,  thousands  into 
Pu-hai,  north  of  the  Tumen,  then  a  rising  state ;  and  many  to  the 
new  country  of  Japan.  Desolated  by  slaughter  and  ravaged  by 
fire  and  blood,  war  and  famine,  large  portions  of  the  land  lay 
waste  for  generations.  Thus  fell  the  second  of  the  Corean  king- 
doms, and  the  sole  dominant  state  now  supreme  in  the  peninsula 
was  Shinra,  an  outline  of  whose  history  we  shall  proceed  to  give. 



Shinra  becomes  first  known  to  us  from  Japanese  tradi- 
tion, her  place  in  the  peninsula  is  in  the  southeast,  comprising  por- 
tions Df  the  modern  provinces  of  Kang-wen  and  Kiung-sang.  The 
peoplo  in  this  warm  and  fertile  part  of  the  peninsula  had  very 
probably  sent  many  colonies  of  settlers  over  to  the  Japanese  Isl- 
ands, which  lay  only  a  hundred  miles  off,  with  Tsushima  for  a 
stepping-stone.  It  is  probable  that  the  "rebels"  in  Kiushiu,  so 
often  spoken  of  in  old  Japanese  histories,  were  simply  Coreans  or 
their  descendants,  as,  indeed,  the  majority  of  the  inhabitants  of 
Kiusbiu  originally  had  been.  The  Yamato  tribe,  which  gradually 
became  paramount  in  Japan,  were  probably  immigrants  of  old  Ko- 
korai  stock,  that  is,  men  of  the  Fuyu  race,  who  had  crossed  from 
the  north  of  Corea  over  the  Sea  of  Japan,  to  the  land  of  Sunrise, 
just  as  the  Saxons  and  Engles  pushed  across  the  North  Sea  to 
England.  They  found  the  Kumaso,  or  Kiushiu  "rebels,"  trouble- 
some, mainly  because  these  settlers  from  the  west,  or  southern 
mainland  of  Corea,  considered  themselves  to  be  the  righteous 
owners  of  the  island  rather  than  the  Yamato  people.  At  all 
events,  the  pretext  that  led  the  mikado  Chiu-ai,  who  is  said  to 
have  reigned  from  192  to  200  A.D.,  to  march  against  them  was,  that 
these  people  in  Kiushiu  wrould  not  acknowledge  his  authority. 
His  vife,  the  Amazonian  queen  Jingu,  was  of  the  opinion  that  the 
root  of  the  trouble  was  to  be  found  in  the  peninsula,  and  that  the 
army  should  be  sent  across  the  sea.  Her  husband,  having  been 
killed  in  battle,  the  queen  was  left  to  carry  out  her  purposes, 
whicL  she  did  at  the  date  said  to  be  202  A.D.  She  set  sail  from 
HizeD,  and  reached  the  Asian  mainland  probably  at  the  harbor  of 
Fusai .  Unable  to  resist  so  well-appointed  a  force,  the  king  of 
Shinr  i  submitted  and  became  the  declared  vassal  of  Japan.  En- 
voys from  Hiaksai  and  another  of  the  petty  kingdoms  also  came 
to  the  Japanese  camp  and  made  friends  with  the  invaders.  After 

46  COREA. 

a  two  months'  stay,  the  victorious  fleet,  richly  laden  with  precious 
gifts  and  spoil,  returned. 

How  much  of  truth  there  is  in  this  narrative  of  Jingu  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  tell  The  date  given  cannot  be  trustworthy.  The  truth 
seems  at  least  this,  that  Shinra  was  far  superior  to  the  Japan  of 
the  early  Christian  centuries.  Buddhism  was  formally  established 
in  Shinra  in  the  year  528 ;  and  as  early  as  the  sixth  century  a  steady 
stream  of  immigrants — traders,  artists,  scholars,  and  teachers,  and 
later  Buddhist  missionaries — passed  from  Shinra  into  Japan,  in- 
terrupted only  by  the  wars  which  from  time  to  time  broke  out. 
The  relations  between  Nippon  and  Southern  Corea  will  be  more 
fully  related  in  another  chapter,  but  it  will  be  well  to  remember 
that  the  Japanese  always  laid  claim  to  the  Corean  peninsula,  and 
to  Shinra  especially,  as  a  tributary  nation.  They  supported  that 
claim  not  only  whenever  embassies  from  the  two  nations  met  at  the 
court  of  China,  but  they  made  it  a  more  or  less  active  part  of  their 
national  policy  down  to  the  year  1876.  Many  a  bloody  war  grew 
out  of  this  claim,  but  on  the  other  hand  many  a  benefit  accrued 
to  Japan,  if  not  to  Shinra. 

Meanwhile,  in  the  peninsula  the  leading  state  expanded  her 
borders  by  gradual  encroachments  upon  the  little  "kingdom"  of 
Mimana  to  the  southwest  and  upon  Hiaksai  on  the  north.  The 
latter,  having  always  considered  Shinra  to  be  inferior,  and  even  a 
dependant,  war  broke  out  between  the  two  states  as  soon  as  Shinra 
assumed  perfect  independence.  Korai  and  Hiaksai  leagued  them- 
selves against  Shinra,  and  the  game  of  war  continued,  with  various 
shifting  of  the  pieces  on  the  board,  until  the  tenth  century.  The 
three  rival  states  mutually  hostile,  the  Japanese  usually  friends  to 
Hiaksai,  the  Chinese  generally  helpers  of  Shinra,  the  northern 
nations  beyond  the  Tumen  and  Sungari  assisting  Korai,  varying 
their  operations  in  the  field  with  frequent  alliances  and  counter- 
plots, make  but  a  series  of  dissolving-views  of  battle  and  strife, 
into  the  details  of  which  it  is  not  profitable  to  enter.  Though 
Korai  and  Hiaksai  felt  the  heaviest  blows  from  China,  Shinra  was 
harried  oftenest  by  the  armies  of  her  neighbors  and  by  the  Japan- 
ese. Indeed,  from  a  tributary  point  of  view,  it  seems  question- 
able whether  her  alliances  with  China  were  of  any  benefit  to  her. 
In  times  of  peace,  however,  the  blessings  of  education  and  civiliza- 
tion flowed  freely  from  her  great  patron.  Though  farthest  east 
from  China,  it  seems  certain  that  Shinra  was,  in  many  respects, 
the  most  highly  civilized  of  the  three  states.  Especially  was  this 


the  case  during  the  Tang  era  (618-905  A.D.),  when  the  mutual  re- 
lations between  China  and  Shinra  were  closest,  and  arts,  letters, 
and  customs  were  borrowed  most  liberally  by  the  pupil  state. 
Ever  at  the  present  time,  in  the  Corean  idiom,  "Tang-yang"  (times 
of  the  Tang  and  Yang  dynasties)  is  a  synonym  of  prosperity. 
The  term  for  "Chinese,"  applied  to  works  of  art,  poetry,  coins, 
fans,  and  even  to  a  certain  disease,  is  "Tang,"  instead  of  the 
ordinary  word  for  China,  since  this  famous  dynastic  title  repre- 
sents to  the  Corean  mind,  as  to  the  student  of  Kathayan  his- 
tory, one  of  the  most  brilliant  epochs  known  to  this  longest-lived 
of  empires.  What  the  names  of  Plantagenet  and  Tudor  repre- 
sent to  an  Anglo-Saxon  mind,  the  terms  Tang  and  Sung  are  to  a 

During  this  period,  Buddhism  was  being  steadily  propagated, 
until  it  became  the  prevailing  cult  of  the  nation.  Reserving  the 
story  of  its  progress  for  a  special  chapter,  we  notice  in  this  place 
but  one  of  its  attendant  blessings.  In  the  civilization  of  a  nation, 
the  possession  of  a  vernacular  alphabet  must  be  acknowledged  to 
be  one  of  the  most  potent  factors  for  the  spread  of  intelligence 
and  culture.  It  is  believed  by  many  linguists  that  the  Choc- 
taws  and  Coreans  have  the  only  two  perfect  alphabets  in  the 
world.  It  is  agreed  by  natives  of  Cho-sen  that  their  most  pro- 
found scholar  and  ablest  man  of  intellect  was  Chul-chong,  a 
statesman  at  the  court  of  Kion-chiu,  the  capital  of  Shinra.  This 
famous  penman,  a  scholar  in  the  classics  and  ancient  languages  of 
India  as  well  as  China,  is  credited  with  the  invention  of  the  Nido, 
or  Corean  syllabary,  one  of  the  simplest  and  most  perfect  "alpha- 
bets "  in  the  world.  It  expresses  the  sounds  of  the  Corean  lan- 
guage far  better  than  the  kata-kana  of  Japan  expresses  Japanese. 
Chul-chong  seems  to  have  invented  the  Nido  syllabary  by  giving  a 
phor.etic  value  to  a  certain  number  of  selected  Chinese  characters, 
which  are  ideographs  expressing  ideas  but  not  sounds.  Perhaps 
the  Sanskrit  alphabet  suggested  the  model  both  for  manner  of  use 
and  for  forms  of  letters.  The  Nido  is  composed  almost  entirely 
of  st  raight  lines  and  circles,  and  the  letters  belonging  to  the  same 
class  of  labials,  dentals,  etc.,  have  a  similarity  of  form  easily 
recognized.  The  Coreans  state  that  the  Nido  was  invented  in 
the  early  part  of  the  eighth  century,  and  that  it  was  based  on  the 
Sanskrit  alphabet.  It  is  worthy  of  note  that,  if  the  date  given  be 
true  the  Japanese  kata-kana,  invented  a  century  later,  was  per- 
haps suggested  by  the  Corean. 

48  COREA. 

One  remarkable  effect  of  the  use  of  phonetic  writing  in  Corea 
and  Japan  has  been  to  stereotype,  and  thus  to  preserve,  the  ancient 
sounds  and  pronunciation  of  words  of  the  Chinese,  which  the  latter 
have  lost.  These  systems  of  writing  outside  of  China  have  served, 
like  Edison's  phonographs,  in  registering  and  reproducing  the 
manner  in  which  the  Chinese  spoke,  a  whole  millennium  ago. 
This  fact  has  already  opened  a  fertile  field  of  research,  and  may 
yet  yield  rich  treasures  of  discovery  to  the  sciences  of  history  and 

Certainly,  however,  we  may  gather  that  the  Tang  era  was  one 
of  learning  and  literary  progress  in  Corea,  as  in  Japan — all  coun- 
tries in  pupilage  to  China  feeling  the  glow  of  literary  splendor  in 
which  the  Middle  Kingdom  was  then  basking.  The  young  nobles 
were  sent  to  obtain  their  education  at  the  court  and  schools  of 
Nanking,  and  the  fair  damsels  of  Shinra  bloomed  in  the  harem  of 
the  emperor.  Imperial  ambassadors  frequently  visited  the  court 
of  this  kingdom  in  the  far  east.  Chinese  costume  and  etiquette 
were,  for  a  time,  at  least,  made  the  rigorous  rule  at  court.  On  one 
occasion,  in  653  A.D.,  the  envoy  from  Shinra  to  the  mikado  came 
arrayed  in  Chinese  dress,  and,  neglecting  the  ceremonial  forms  of 
the  Japanese  court,  attempted  to  observe  those  of  China.  The 
mikado  was  highly  irritated  at  the  supposed  insult.  The  premier 
even  advised  that  the  Corean  be  put  to  death ;  but  better  counsels 
prevailed.  During  the  eighth  and  ninth  centuries  this  flourish- 
ing kingdom  was  well  known  to  the  Arab  geographers,  and  it  is 
evident  that  Mussulman  travellers  visited  Shinra  or  resided  in 
the  cities  of  the  peninsula  for  purposes  of  trade  and  conlmerce,  as 
has  been  shown  before. 

Kion-chiu,  the  capital  of  Shinra,  was  a  brilliant  centre  of  art 
and  science,  of  architecture  and  of  literary  and  religious  light. 
Imposing  temples,  grand  monasteries,  lofty  pagodas,  halls  of 
scholars,  magnificent  gateways  and  towers  adorned  the  city.  In 
campaniles,  equipped  with  water-clocks  and  with  ponderous  bells 
and  gongs,  which,  when  struck,  flooded  the  valleys  and  hill-tops 
with  a  rich  resonance,  the  sciences  of  astronomy  and  horoscopy 
were  cultivated.  As  from  a  fountain,  rich  streams  of  knowledge 
flowed  from  the  capital  of  Shinra,  both  over  the  peninsula  and  to 
the  court  of  Japan.  Even  after  the  decay  of  Shinra's  power  in 
the  political  unity  of  the  whole  peninsula,  the  nation  looked  upon 
Kion-chiu  as  a  sacred  city.  Her  noble  temples,  halls,  and  towers 
stood  in  honor  and  repair,  enshrining  the  treasures  of  India,  Per- 


sia,  and  China,  until  the  ruthless  Japanese  torch  laid  them  in 
ashe^s  in  1596. 

The  generation  of  Corean  people  during  the  seventh  century, 
wher  the  Chinese  hordes  desolated  large  portions  of  the  penin- 
sula and  crushed  out  Hiaksai  and  Korai,  saw  the  borders  of 
Shinra  extending  from  the  Everlasting  White  Mountains  to  the 
Island  of  Tsushima,  and  occupying  the  entire  eastern  half  of  the 
peninsula.  From  the  beginning  of  the  eighth  until  the  tenth 
century,  Shinra  is  the  supreme  state,  and  the  political  power  of 
the  Eastern  Kingdom  is  represented  by  her  alone.  Her  ambition 
tern i  ted,  or  her  Chinese  master  commanded,  her  into  an  invasion 
of  the  kingdom  of  Pu-hai  beyond  her  northern  border,  733  A.D. 
Her  armies  crossed  the  Tumen,  but  met  with  such  spirited  resist- 
ance that  only  half  of  them  returned.  Shinra's  desire  of  con- 
quest in  that  direction  was  appeased,  and  for  two  centuries  the 
land  had  rest  from  blood. 

Until  Shinra  fell,  in  934  A.D.,  and  united  Corea  rose  on  the 
ruins  of  the  three  kingdoms,  the  history  of  this  state,  as  found  in 
the  Chinese  annals,  is  simply  a  list  of  her  kings,  who,  of  course, 
received  investiture  from  China.  On  the  east,  the  Japanese,  hav- 
ing ceased  to  be  her  pupils  in  civilization  during  times  of  peace, 
as  in  time  of  war  they  were  her  conquerors,  turned  their  atten- 
tion to  Nanking,  receiving  directly  therefrom  the  arts  and  sci- 
ences, instead  of  at  second-hand  through  the  Corean  peninsula. 
They  found  enough  to  do  at  home  in  conquering  all  the  tribes  in 
the  north  and  east  and  centralizing  their  system  of  government 
aftei  the  model  of  the  Tangs  in  China.  For  these  reasons  the 
sources  of  information  concerning  the  eighth  and  ninth  centuries 
fail,  or  rather  it  is  more  exact  to  say  that  the  history  of  Shinra  is 
that  of  peace  instead  of  war.  In  869  we  read  of  pirates  from  her 
shores  descending  upon  the  Japanese  coast  to  plunder  the  tribute 
ship^  from  Buzen  province,  and  again,  in  893,  that  a  fleet  of  fifty 
junks,  manned  by  these  Corean  rovers,  was  driven  off  from  Tsus- 
hima by  the  Japanese  troops,  with  the  loss  of  three  hundred  slain. 
Another  descent  of  "foreign  pirates,"  most  probably  Coreans, 
upon  Ed  Island,  in  1019,  is  recorded,  the  strangers  being  beaten 
off  by  reinforcements  from  the  mainland.  The  very  existence  of 
theso  marauders  is,  perhaps,  a  good  indication  that  the  power  of 
the  Shinra  government  was  falling  into  decay,  and  that  lawless- 
ness within  the  kingdom  was  preparing  the  way  for  some  mighty 
hand  to  not  only  seize  the  existing  state,  but  to  unite  all  Corea 

50  COREA. 

into  political,  as  well  as  geographical,  unity.  In  the  far  north 
another  of  those  great  intermittent  movements  of  population  was 
in  process,  which,  though  destroying  the  kingdom  of  Puhai  beyond 
the  Tumen,  was  to  repeople  the  desolate  land  of  Korai,  and  again 
call  a  dead  state  to  aggressive  life.  From  the  origin  to  the  fall  of 
Shinra  there  were  three  royal  families  of  fifty-five  kings,  ruling 
nine  hundred  and  ninety-three  years,  or  seven  years  less  than  a 

Despite  the  modern  official  name  of  the  kingdom,  Cho-sen,  the  people  of 
Corea  still  call  their  country  Gaoli,  or  Korai,  clinging  to  the  ancient  name. 
In  this  popular  usage,  unless  we  are  mistaken,  there  is  a  flavor  of  genuine 
patriotism.  Cho-sen  does  indeed  mean  Morning  Calm,  but  the  impression 
made  on  Western  ears,  and  more  vividly  upon  the  eye  by  means  of  the 
Chinese  characters,  is  apt  to  mislead.  The  term  is  less  a  reflection  of  geo- 
graphical position  than  of  the  inward  emotions  of  those  who  first  of  all  were 
more  Chinese  than  Corean  in  spirit,  and  of  a  desire  for  China's  favor.  The 
term  Cho-sen  savors  less  of  dew  and  dawn  than  of  policy  and  prosy  fact.  It  is 
probable,  despite  the  Corean's  undoubted  love  of  nature  and  beautiful  scenery, 
that  Americans  and  Europeans  have  been  led  astray  as  to  the  real  significance 
of  the  phrase  "morning  calm."  At  the  bottom,  it  means  rather  peace  with 
China  than  the  serenity  of  dewy  morning.  Audience  of  the  Chinese  emperor 
to  his  vassals  is  always  given  at  daybreak,  and  to  be  graciously  received  after 
the  long  and  tedious  prostrations  is  an  auspicious  beginning  as  of  a  day  of  heav- 
en upon  earth.  To  the  founder  of  Corea,  Ki  Tsze,  the  gracious  favor  of  the 
Chow  emperor  was  as  "  morning  calm  ;"  and  so  to  Ni  Taijo,  in  1392  A.D.,  was 
the  sunshine  of  the  Ming  emperor's  favor.  In  both  instances  the  name  Cho- 
sen given  to  their  realm  had,  in  reality,  immediate  reference  to  the  dayspring 
of  China's  favor,  and  "the  calm  of  dawn "  to  the  smile  of  the  emperor. 



Ii  is  as  nearly  impossible  to  write  the  history  of  Corea  and  ex- 
clude Japan,  as  to  tell  the  story  of  mediaeval  England  and  leave 
out  France.  Not  alone  does  the  finger  of  sober  history  point  di- 
rectly westward  as  the  immediate  source  of  much  of  what  has  been 
hitherto  deemed  of  pure  Japanese  origin,  but  the  fountain-head  of 
Japanese  mythology  is  found  in  the  Sungari  valley,  or  under  the 
shade  >ws  of  the  Ever- White  Mountains.  The  first  settler  of  Japan, 
like  him  of  Fuyu,  crosses  the  water  upright  upon  the  back  of  a 
fish,  ftnd  brings  the  rudiments  of  literature  and  civilization  with 
him.  The  remarkable  crocodiles  and  sea-monsters,  from  which 
the  gods  and  goddesses  are  born  and  into  which  they  change,  the 
dragons  and  tide-jewels  and  the  various  mystic  symbols  which 
they  employ  to  work  their  spells,  the  methods  of  divination  and 
system  of  prognostics,  the  human  sacrifices  and  the  manner  of 
their  rescue,  seem  to  be  common  to  the  nations  on  both  sides  of 
the  Sea  of  Japan,  and  point  to  a  common  heritage  from  the  same 
ancestors.  Language  comes  at  last  with  her  revelations  to  furnish 
proofs  of  identity. 

T3ie  mischievous  Susanoo,  so  famous  in  the  pre-historic  legends, 
told  in  the  Kojiki,  half  scamp,  half  benefactor,  who  planted  all 
Japar  with  trees,  brought  the  seeds  from  which  they  grew  from 
Cores.  His  rescue  of  the  maiden  doomed  to  be  devoured  by  the 
eight  headed  dragon  (emblem  of  water,  and  symbolical  of  the  sea 
and  livers)  reads  like  a  gallant  fellow  saving  one  of  the  human 
beings  who  for  centuries,  until  the  now  ruling  dynasty  abolished 
the  custom,  were  sacrificed  to  the  sea  on  the  Corean  coast  front- 
ing Japan.  In  Kioto,  on  Gi-on  Street,  there  is  a  temple  which 
tradition  declares  was  "founded  in  656  A.D.  by  a  Corean  envoy  in 
honoi  of  Susanoo,  to  whom  the  name  of  Go-dzu  Tenno  (Heavenly 
King  of  Go-dzu)  was  given,  because  he  was  originally  worshipped 
in  Gc-dzu  Mountain  in  Corea." 

52  COREA. 

Dogs  are  not  held  in  any  honor  in  Japan,  as  they  were  an- 
ciently in  Kokorai.  Except  the  silk-haired,  pug-nosed,  and  large- 
eyed  chin,  which  the  average  native  does  not  conceive  as  canine, 
the  dogs  run  at  large,  ownerless,  as  in  the  Levant ;  and  share  the 
work  of  street  scavenging  with  the  venerated  crows.  Yet  there 
are  two  places  of  honor  in  which  the  golden  and  stone  effigies 
of  this  animal — highly  idealized  indeed,  but  still  inu — are  en- 

The  ama-inu,  or  heavenly  dogs,  in  fanciful  sculpture  of  stone 
or  gilt  wood,  represent  guardian  dogs.  They  are  found  in  pairs 
guarding  the  entrances  to  miya  or  temples.  As  all  miya  (the 
name  also  of  the  mikado's  residence)  were  originally  intended  to 
serve  as  a  model  or  copy  of  the  palace  of  the  mikado  and  a  re- 
minder of  the  divinity  of  his  person  and  throne,  it  is  possible  that 
the  ama-inu  imitated  the  golden  Corean  dogs  which  support  and 
guard  the  throne  of  Japan.  Access  to  the  shrine  was  had  only  by 
passing  these  two  heavenly  dogs.  These  creatures  are  quite  dis- 
tinct from  the  "dogs  of  Fo,"  or  the  "lions"  that  flank  the  gate- 
ways of  the  magistrate's  office  in  China.  Those  who  have  had 
audience  of  the  mikado  in  the  imperial  throne-room,  as  the  writer 
had  in  January,  1873,  have  noticed  at  the  foot  of  the  throne,  serv- 
ing as  legs  or  supports  to  the  golden  chair,  on  which  His  Majesty 
sits,  two  dogs  sitting  on  their  haunches,  and  upright  on  their  fore- 
legs. These  fearful-looking  creatures,  with  wide-open  mouths, 
hair  curled  in  tufts,  especially  around  the  front  neck,  and  with 
tails  bifurcated  at  their  upright  ends,  are  called  "Corean  dogs." 
For  what  reason  placed  there  we  know  not.  It  may  be  in  witness 
of  the  conquest  of  Shinra  by  the  empress  Jingu,  who  called  the 
king  of  Shinra  "the  dog  of  Japan,"  or  it  may  point  to  some  for- 
gotten symbolism  in  the  past,  or  typify  the  vassalage  of  Corea — so 
long  a  fundamental  dogma  in  Japanese  politics.  It  is  certainly 
strange  to  see  this  creature,  so  highly  honored  in  Fuyu  and  dis- 
honored among  the  vulgar  in  Japan,  placed  beneath  the  mikado's 

[_VThe  Japanese  laid  claim  to  Corea  from  the  second  century 
until  the  27th  of  February,  1876.  On  that  day  the  mikado's  min- 
ister plenipotentiary  signed  the  treaty,  recognizing  Cho-sen  as  an 
independent  nation.  Through  all  the  seventeen  centuries  which, 
according  to  their  annals,  elapsed  since  their  armies  first  com- 
pelled the  vassalage  of  their  neighbor,  the  Japanese  regarded  the 
states  of  Corea  as  tributary.  Time  and  again  they  enforced  their 

JAPAN  AND   CORE  A.  53 

claim  with  bloody  invasion,  and  when  through  a  more  enlightened 
policy  the  rulers  voluntarily  acknowledged  their  former  enemy  as 
an  equal,  the  decision  cost  Japan  almost  immediately  afterward 
seven  months  of  civil  war,  20,000  lives,  and  fifty  millions  of  dol- 
lars in  treasure.  The  mainspring  of  the  "  Satsuma  rebellion  "  of 
1877  was  the  official  act  of  friendship  by  treaty,  and  the  refusal  of 
the  Tokio  Government  to  make  war  on  Corea. 

j^TjYom  about  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era  until  the  fif- 
teenth century  the  relations  between  the  two  nations  were  very 
close  and  active.  Alternate  peace  and  war,  mutual  assistance  given, 
and  embassies ^nt  to  and  fro  are  recorded  with  lively  frequency 
in  the  early  Japanese  annals,  especially  the  Nihongi  and  Kojiki. 
A  more  or  less  continual  stream  of  commerce  and  emigration 
seemK  to  have  set  in  from  the  peninsula/)  Some  writers  of  high 
authority,  who  are  also  comparative  students  of  the  languages  of 
the  two  countries,  see  in  these  events  the  origin  of  the  modern 
Japanese.  They  interpret  them  to  mean  nothing  less  than  the 
peopling  of  the  archipelago  by  continental  tribes  passing  through 
the  peninsula,  and  landing  in  Japan  at  various  points  along  the 
coast  from  Kiushiu  to  Kaga.  Some  of  them  think  that  Japan  was 
settled  wholly  and  only  by  Tungusic  races  of  Northeastern  Asia 
coming  from  or  through  Corea.  They  base  their  belief  not  only 
on  the  general  stream  and  tendency  of  Japanese  tradition,  but  also 
and  more  on  the  proofs  of  language. 

The  first  mention  of  Corea  in  the  Japanese  annals  occurs  in 
the  fifth  volume  of  the  Nihongi,  and  is  the  perhaps  half -fabulous 
narrative  of  ancient  tradition.  In  the  65th  year  of  the  reign  of 
the  tenth  mikado,  Sujin  (97-30  B.C.),  a  boat  filled  with  people  from 
the  west  appeared  off  the  southern  point  of  Cho-shiu,  near  the 
modern  town  of  Shimonoseki.  They  would  not  land  there,  but 
steered  their  course  from  cape  to  cape  along  the  coast  until  they 
reached  the  Bay  of  Keji  no  Wara  in  Echizen,  near  the  modern 
city  of  Tsuruga.  Here  they  disembarked  and  announced  them- 
selves from  Amana  Sankan  (Amana  of  the  Three  Han  or  King- 
dom*-,) in  Southern  Corea.  They  unpacked  their  treasures  of  finely 
wrought  goods,  and  their  leader  made  offerings  to  the  mikado 
Sujii .  These  immigrants  remained  five  years  in  Echizen,  not 
far  from  the  city  of  Fukui,  till  28  B.C.  Before  leaving  Japan, 
they  presented  themselves  in  the  capital  for  a  farewell  audience. 
The  mikado  Mimaki,  having  died  three  years  before,  the  visi- 
tors were  requested  on  their  return  to  call  their  country  Mimana, 

54  COREA. 

after  their  patron,  as  a  memorial  of  their  stay  in  Japan.  To 
this  they  assented,  and  on  their  return  named  their  district 

Some  traditions  state  that  the  first  Corean  envoy  had  a  horn 
growing  out  of  his  forehead,  and  that  since  his  time,  and  on  ac- 
count of  it,  the  bay  near  which  he  dwelt  was  named  Tsunaga  (Horn 
Bay)  now  corrupted  into  Tsuruga. 

It  may  be  added  that  nearly  all  mythical  characters  or  heroes 
in  Japanese  and  Chinese  history  are  represented  as  having  one  or 
more  very  short  horns  growing  out  of  their  heads,  and  are  so  de- 
lineated in  native  art. 

Six  years  later  an  envoy  from  Shinra  arrived,  also  bringing  pre- 
sents to  the  mikado.  These  consisted  of  mirrors,  jade  stone, 
swords,  and  other  precious  articles,  then  common  in  Corea  but 
doubtless  new  in  Japan. 

According  to  the  tradition  of  the  Kojiki  (Book  of  Ancient  Le- 
gends) the  fourteenth  mikado,  Chiu-ai  (A.D.  192-200)  was  holding 
his  court  at  Tsuruga  in  Echizen,  in  A.D.  194,  when  a  rebellion 
broke  out  in  Kiushiu.  He  marched  at  once  into  Kiushiu,  against 
the  rebels,  and  there  fell  by  disease  or  arrow.  His  consort,  Jingu 
Kogo,  had  a  presentiment  that  he  ought  not  to  go  into  Kiushiu, 
as  he  would  surely  fail  if  he  did,  but  that  he  should  strike  at  the 
root  of  the  trouble  and  sail  at  once  to  the  west. 

After  his  death  she  headed  the  Japanese  army  and,  leading  the 
troops  in  person,  quelled  the  revolt.  She  then  ordered  all  the 
available  forces  of  her  realm  to  assemble  for  an  invasion  of  Shinra. 
Japanese  modern  writers  have  laid  great  stress  upon  the  fact  that 
Shinra  began  the  aggressions  which  brought  on  war,  and  in  this 
fact  justify  Jingu's  action  and  Japan's  right  to  hold  Corea  as  an 
honestly  acquired  possession. 

All  being  ready,  the  doughty  queen  regent  set  sail  from  the 
coast  of  Hizen,  in  Japan,  in  the  tenth  month  A.D.  202,  and  beached 
the  fleet  safely  on  the  coast  of  Shinra.  The  King  of  Shinra,  accus- 
tomed to  meet  only  with  men  from  the  rude  tribes  of  Kiushiu,  was 
surprised  to  see  so  well-appointed  an  army  and  so  large  a  fleet  from 
a  land  to  the  eastward.  Struck  with  terror  he  resolved  at  once  to 
submit.  Tying  his  hands  in  token  of  submission  and  in  presence 
of  the  queen  Jingu,  he  declared  himself  the  slave  of  Japan.  Jingu 
caused  her  bow  to  be  suspended  over  the  gate  of  the  palace  of  the 
king  in  sign  of  his  submission.  It  is  even  said  that  she  wrote 
on  the  gate  "The  King  of  Shinra  is  the  dog  of  Japan."  Perhaps 

JAPAN   AND   CORE  A.  55 

these  are  historic  words,  which  find  their  meaning  to-day  in  the 
two  golden  dogs  forming  part  of  the  mikado's  throne,  like  the 
Scotch  "stone  of  Scone,"  under  the  coronation  chair  in  Westmin- 
ster Abbey. 

The  followers  of  Jingu  evidently  expected  a  rich  booty,  but 
after  MO  peaceful  a  conquest  the  empress  ordered  that  no  looting 
should  be  allowed,  and  no  spoil  taken  except  the  treasures  consti- 
tuting tribute.  She  restored  the  king  to  the  throne  as  her  vassal, 
and  the  tribute  was  then  collected  and  laden  on  eighty  boats  with 
hostages  for  future  annual  tribute.  The  offerings  comprised  pic- 
tures, works  of  elegance  and  art,  mirrors,  jade,  gold,  silver,  and 
silk  fabrics. 

Preparations  were  now  made  to  conquer  Hiaksai  also,  when 
Jingu  was  surprised  to  receive  the  voluntary  submission  and  offers 
of  tribute  of  this  country. 

The  Japanese  army  remained  in  Corea  only  two  months,  but 
this  brief  expedition  led  to  great  and  lasting  results.  It  gave  the 
Japanese  a  keener  thirst  for  martial  glory,  it  opened  their  eyes  to 
a  higher  state  of  arts  and  civilization.  From  this  time  forth  there 
flowed  into  the  islands  a  constant  stream  of  Corean  emigrants,  who 
gave  ft  great  impulse  to  the  spirit  of  improvement  in  Japan.  The 
Japanese  accept  the  story  of  Jingu  and  her  conquest  as  sound 
history,  and  adorn  their  greenback  paper  money  with  pictures  of 
her  foreign  exploits.  Critics  reject  many  elements  in  the  tradi- 
tion, such  as  her  controlling  the  waves  and  drowning  the  Shinra 
army  by  the  jewels  of  the  ebbing  and  the  flowing  tide,1  and  the 
delay  of  her  accouchement  by  a  magic  stone  carried  in  her  girdle. 
The  Japanese  ascribe  the  glory  of  victory  to  her  then  unborn  babe, 
afterward  deified  as  Ojin,  god  of  war,  and  worshipped  by  Buddhists 
as  Hachiman  or  the  Eight-bannered  Buddha.  Yet  many  temples 
are  d(  dicated  to  Jingu,  one  especially  famous  is  near  Hiogo,  and 
Koraiji  (Corean  village)  near  Oiso,  a  few  miles  from  Yokohama, 
has  another  which  was  at  first  built  in  her  honor.  Evidently  the 
core  of  the  narrative  of  conquest  is  fact. 

Ai  the  time  when  the  faint,  dim  light  of  trustworthy  tradition 
dawne,  we  find  the  people  inhabiting  the  Japanese  archipelago  to 
be  roughly  divided,  as  to  their  political  status,  into  four  classes. 

In  the  central  province  around  Kioto  ruled  a  kingly  house — 

1  The  story,  told  in  full  in  the  Heike  Monogatori,  is  given  in  English  in 
"Japanese  Fairy  World." 



the  mikado  and  his  family — with  tributary  nobles  or  feudal  chiefs 
holding  their  lands  on  military  tenure.  This  is  the  ancient  classic 
land  and  realm  of  Yamato.  Four  other  provinces  adjoining  it 
have  always  formed  the  core  of  the  empire,  and  are  called  the  Go- 
Kinai,  or  five  home  provinces,  suggesting  the  five  clans  of  Kokorai. 
To  the  north  and  east  stretched  the  little  known  and  less  civil- 
ized region,  peopled  by  tribes  of  kindred  blood  and  speech,  who 

Map  of  Ancient  Japan  and  Corea. 

spoke  nearly  the  same  language  as  the  Yamato  tribes,  and  who 
had  probably  come  at  some  past  time  from  the  same  ancestral 
seats  in  Manchuria,  and  called  the  Kuan-to,  or  region  east  (to)  of 
the  barrier  (kuan)  at  Ozaka  ;  or  poetically  Adzuma. 

Still  further  north,  on  the  main  island  and  in  Yezo,  lived  the 
Ainos  or  Ebisu,  probably  the  aborigines  of  the  soil — the  straight- 
eyed  men  whose  descendants  still  live  in  Yezo  and  the  Kuriles. 


The  northern  and  eastern  tribes  were  first  conquered  and  thor- 
oughly subdued  by  the  Yamato  tribes,  after  which  all  the  far  north 
was  overrun  and  the  Ainos  subjugated. 

In  the  extreme  south  of  the  main  island  of  Japan  and  in  Kiu- 
shiu. then  called  Kumaso  by  the  Yamato  people,  lived  a  number 
of  tribes  of  perhaps  the  same  ethnic  stock  as  the  Yamato  Japan- 
ese, but  further  removed.  Their  progenitors  had  probably  de- 
seen  led  from  Manchuria  through  Corea  to  Japan.  Their  blood  and 
speech,  however,  were  more  mixed  by  infusions  from  Malay  and 
southern  elements.  Into  Kiushiu — it  being  nearest  to  the  conti- 
nent— the  peninsulars  were  constantly  coming  and  mingling  with 
the  :  slanders. 

The  allegiance  of  the  Kiushiu  tribes  to  the  royal  house  of  Ya- 
mato was  of  a  very  loose  kind.  The  history  of  these  early  centu- 
ries, as  shown  in  the  annals  of  Nihon,  is  but  a  series  of  revolts 
against  the  distant  warrior  mikado,  whose  life  was  chiefly  one  of 
war.  He  had  often  to  leave  his  seat  in  the  central  island  to  march 
at  the  head  of  his  followers  to  put  down  rebellions  or  to  conquer 
new  tribes.  Over  these,  when  subdued,  a  prince  chosen  by  the 
conqueror  was  set  to  rule,  who  became  a  feudatory  of  the  mikado. 

The  attempts  of  the  Yamato  sovereign  to  wholly  reduce  the 
Kiushiu  tribes  to  submission,  were  greatly  frustrated  by  their 
stout  resistance,  fomented  by  emissaries  from  Shinra,  who  insti- 
gated them  to  "revolt,"  while  adventurers  from  the  Corean  main- 
land came  over  in  large  numbers  and  joined  the  "rebels,"  who 
were,  in  one  sense,  their  own  compatriots. 

f  From  the  time  of  Jingu,  if  the  early  dates  in  Japanese  history 
are^to  be  trusted,  may  be  said  to  date  that  belief,  so  firmly  fixed 
in  tlie  Japanese  mind,  that  Corea  is,  and  always  was  since  Jingu's 
time,  a  tributary  and  dependency  of  Japan.  This  idea,  akin  to 
that  of  the  claim  of  the  English  kings  on  France,  led  to  frequent 
expeditions  from  the  third  to  the  sixteenth  century,  and  which, 
even  ms  late  as  1874,  1875,  and  1877,  lay  at  the  root  of  three  civil 

401  these  expeditions,  sometimes  national,  sometimes  filibuster- 
ing, served  to  drain  the  resources  of  Japan,  though  many  impulses 
to  development  and  higher  civilization  were  thus  gained,  espe- 
cially in  the  earlier  centuries.  It  seemed,  until  1877,  almost  im- 
possible to  eradicate  from  the  military  mind  of  Japan  the  convic- 
tion that  to  surrender  Corea  was  cowardice  and  a  stain  on  the 
national  honor.  But  time  will  show3  as  it  showed  centuries  ago 

58  COREA. 

in  England,  that  the  glory  and  prosperity  of  the  conqueror  were 
increased,  not  diminished,  when  Japan  relinquished  all  claim  on 
her  continental  neighbor  and  treated  her  as  an  equal. 

The  Coreans  taught  the  Japanese  the  arts  of  peace,  while  the 
Coreans  profited  from  their  neighbors  to  improve  in  the  business  of 
war.  We  read  that,  in  316  A.D.,  a  Corean  ambassador,  bringing 
the  usual  tribute,  presented  to  the  mikado  a  shield  of  iron  which 
he  believed  to  be  invulnerable  to  Japanese  arrows.  The  mikado 
called  on  one  of  his  favorite  marksmen  to  practice  in  the  presence 
of  the  envoy.  The  shield  was  suspended,  and  the  archer,  drawing 
bow,  sent  a  shaft  through  the  iron  skin  of  the  buckler  to  the  as- 
tonishment of  the  visitor.  In  all  their  battles  the  Coreans  were 
rarely  able  to  stand  in  open  field  before  the  archers  from  over  the 
sea,  who  sent  true  cloth-yard  shafts  from  their  oak  and  bamboo 

The  paying  of  tribute  to  a  foreign  country  is  never  a  pleasant 
duty  to  perform,  though  in  times  of  prosperity  and  good  harvests 
'it  is  not  difficult.  In  periods  of  scarcity  from  bad  crops  it  is  well 
nigh  impossible.  To  insist  upon  its  payment  is  to  provoke  rebel- 
lion. Instances  are  indeed  given  in  Japanese  history  where  the 
conquerors  not  only  remitted  the  tribute  but  even  sent  ship  loads 
of  rice  and  barley  to  the  starving  Coreans.  When,  however,  for 
reasons  not  deemed  sufficient,  or  out  of  sheer  defiance,  their  vas- 
sals refused  to  discharge  their  dues,  they  again  felt  the  iron  hand 
of  Japan  in  war.  During  the  reign  of  Yuriaki,  the  twenty-second 
mikado  (A.D.  457-477),  the  three  states  failed  to  pay  tribute.  A 
Japanese  army  landed  in  Corea,  and  conquering  Hiaksai,  com- 
pelled her  to  return  to  her  duty.  The  campaign  was  less  suc- 
cessful in  Shinra  and  Korai,  for  after  the  Japanese  had  left  the 
Corean  shores  the  "  tribute  "  was  sent  only  at  intervals,  and  the 
temper  of  the  half-conquered  people  was  such  that  other  expe- 
ditions had  to  be  despatched  to  inflict  chastisement  and  compel 

The  gallant  but  vain  succor  given  by  the  Japanese  to  Hiaksai 
during  the  war  with  the  Chinese,  in  the  sixth  century,  which  re- 
sulted in  the  destruction  of  the  little  kingdom,  has  already  been 
detailed.  Among  the  names,  forever  famous  in  Japanese  art  and 
tradition,  of  those  who  took  part  in  this  expedition  are  Sate-hiko 
and  Kasi-wade.  The  former  sailed  away  from  Hizen  in  the  year 
536,  as  one  of  the  mikado's  body-guard  to  assist  their  allies  the 
men  of  Hiaksai.  A  poetical  legend  recounts  that  his  wife,  Sayo- 


hitae,  climbed  the  hills  of  Matsura  to  catch  the  last  glimpse  of  his 
receding  sails.  Thus  intently  gazing,  with  straining  eyes,  she 
turned  to  stone.  The  peasants  of  the  neighborhood  still  discern 
in  the  weathern-worn  rocks,  high  up  on  the  cliffs,  the  figure  of-  a 
lady  in  long  trailing  court  dress  with  face  and  figure  eagerly  bent 
over  the  western  waves.  Not  only  is  the  name  Matsura  Sayohime 
the  symbol  of  devoted  love,  but  from  this  incident  the  famous 
author  Bakin  constructed  his  romance  of  "The  Great  Stone  Spirit 
of  Matsura." 

Kasiwad6,  who  crossed  over  to  do  "frontier  service  "  in  the 
peninsula  a  few  years  later,  was  driven  ashore  by  a  snow  squall  at 
an  unknown  part  of  the  coast.  While  in  this  defenceless  condi- 
tion Ids  camp  was  invaded  by  a  tiger,  which  carried  off  and  de- 
voure  1  his  son,  a  lad  of  tender  age.  Kasiwade  at  once  gave  chase 
and  followed  the  beast  to  the  mountains  and  into  a  cave.  The 
tiger  leaping  out  upon  him,  the  wary  warrior  bearded  him  with 
his  left  hand,  and  buried  his  dirk  in  his  throat.  Then  finish- 
ing him  with  his  sabre,  he  skinned  the  brute  and  sent  home  the 
trophy.  From  olden  times  Cho-sen  is  known  to  Japanese  chil- 
dren only  as  a  land  of  tigers,  while  to  the  soldier  the  "marshal's 
baton  carried  in  his  knapsack  "  is  a  tiger-skin  scabbard,  the  emblem 
and  possession  of  rank. 

Ah  the  imperial  court  of  Japan  looked  upon  Shinra  and  Hiak- 
sai  as  outlying  vassal  states,  the  frequent  military  movements 
across  the  sea  were  reckoned  under  "frontier  service,"  like  that 
beyond  the  latitude  of  Sado  in  the  north  of  the  main  island,  or  in 
Kiushiu  in  the  south.  "The  three  countries"  of  Corea  were  far 
nearer  and  more  familiar  to  the  Japanese  soldiers  than  were  Yezo 
or  the  Riu  Kiu  Islands,  which  were  not  part  of  the  empire  till 
sever;  d  centuries  afterward.  Kara  Kuni,  the  country  of  Kara 
(a  corruption  of  Korai  ?),  as  they  now  call  China,  was  then  ap- 
plied to  Corea.  Not  a  little  of  classic  poetry  and  legend  in 
the  Yamato  language  refers  to  this  western  frontier  beyond  the 
sea.  The  elegy  on  Ihemaro,  the  soldier-prince,  who  died  at  Iki 
Island  on  the  voyage  over,  and  that  on  the  death  of  the  Corean 
nun  tliguwan,  have  been  put  into  English  verse  by  Mr.  Cham- 
berlain (named  after  the  English  explorer  and  writer  on  Corea, 
Basil  Hall),  in  his  "Classical  Poetry  of  the  Japanese."  This 
Corean  lady  left  her  home  in  714,  and  for  twenty-one  years  found 
a  home  with  the  mikado's  Prime  Minister,  Otomo,  and  his  wife,  at 
Nara.  She  died  in  735,  while  her  hosts  were  away  at  the  mineral 

60  COREA. 

springs  of  Arima,  near  Kobe  ;  and  the  elegy  was  written  by  the., 
daughter.     One  stanza  describes  her  life  in  the  new  country. 

"  And  here  with  aliens  thou  didst  choose  to  dwell, 

Year  in,  year  out,  in  deepest  sympathy  ; 
And  here  thou  builtest  thee  a  holy  cell, 

And  so  the  peaceful  years  went  gliding  by." 

An  interesting  field  of  research  is  still  open  to  the  scholar  who 
will  point  out  all  the  monuments  of  Corean  origin  or  influence  in 
the  mikado's  empire,  in  the  arts  and  sciences,  household  customs, 
diet  and  dress,  or  architecture  ;  in  short,  what  by  nature  or  the 
hand  of  man  has  been  brought  to  the  land  of  Sunrise  from  that  of 
Morning  Calm.  One  of  the  Corean  princes,  who  settled  in  Japan 
early  in  the  seventh  century,  founded  a  family  which  afterward 
ruled  the  famous  province  of  Nagato  or  Choshiu.  One  of  his  de- 
scendants welcomed  Francis  Xavier,  and  aided  his  work  by  gifts  of 
ground  and  the  privilege  of  preaching.  Many  of  the  temples  in 
Kioto  still  contain  images,  paintings,  and  altar  furniture  brought 
from  Corea.  The  "Pheasant  Bridge  "still  keeps  its  name  from 
bygone  centuries ;  in  a  garden  near  by  pheasants  were  kept  for  the 
supply  of  the  tables  of  the  Corean  embassies.  The  Arab  and  Per- 
sian treasures  of  art  and  fine  workmanship,  in  the  imperial  archives 
and  museums  of  Nara,  which  have  excited  the  wonder  of  foreign 
visitors,  are  most  probably  among  the  gifts  or  purchases  from 
Shinra,  where  these  imports  were  less  rare.  A  Buddhist  monk 
named  Shiuho  has  gathered  up  the  traditions  and  learning  of  the 
subject,  so  far  as  it  illustrated  his  faith,  and  in  "Precious  Jewels 
from  a  Neighboring  Country,"  published  in  1586,  has  written  a 
narrative  of  the  introduction  of  Buddhism  from  Corea  and  its  liter- 
ary and  missionary  influences  upon  Japan. 

Under  the  chapters  on  Art  and  Religion  we  shall  resume  this 
topic.  As  earnestly  as  the  Japanese  are  now  availing  themselves  of 
the  science  and  progress  of  Christendom  in  this  nineteenth  cen- 
tury, so  earnestly  did  they  borrow  the  culture  of  the  west,  that  is 
of  Corea  and  China,  a  thousand  years  ago. 

The  many  thousands  of  Coreans,  who,  during  the  first  ten  centu-  * 
ries  of  the  Christian  era,  but  especially  in  the  seventh,  eighth,  and 
ninth,  settled  in  Japan,  lived  peaceably  with  the  people  of  their 
adopted  country,  and  loyally  obeyed  the  mikado's  rule.  An  exception 
to  this  course  occurred  in  820,  when  seven  hundred  men  who  some 
time  before  had  come  from  Shinra  to  Totomi  and  Suruga  revolted, 


many  of  the  Japanese,  seized  the  rice  in  the  store-houses, 
7  and  put  to  sea  to  escape.    The  people  of  Musashi  and  Sagami  pur- 
sued and  attacked  them,  putting  many  of  them  to  death. 

The  general  history  of  the  Coreans  in  Japan  divides  itself  into 
two  parts.  Those  who  came  as  voluntary  immigrants  in  time  of 
peace  were  in  most  cases  skilled  workmen  or  farmers,  who  settled 
in  la  ids  or  in  villages  granted  them,  and  were  put  on  political  and 
social  equality  with  the  mikado's  subjects.  They  founded  indus- 
tries intermarried  with  the  natives,  and  their  identity  has  been 
lost  .n  the  general  body  of  the  Japanese  people. 

With  the  prisoners  taken  in  war,  and  with  the  laborers  im- 
pressed into  their  service  and  carried  off  by  force,  the  case  was  far 
different.  These  latter  were  set  apart  in  villages  by  themselves — 
an  outcast  race  on  no  social  equality  with  the  people.  At  first 
they  were  employed  to  feed  the  imperial  falcons,  or  do  such 
menial  work,  but  under  the  ban  of  Buddhism,  which  forbids  the 
destruction  of  life  and  the  handling  of  flesh,  they  became  an  ac- 
cursed race,  the  "  Etas  "  or  pariahs  of  the  nation.  They  were  the 
butchers,  skinners,  leather-makers,  and  those  whose  business  it  was 
to  handle  corpses  of  criminals  and  all  other  defiling  things.  They 
exist  to-day,  not  greatly  changed  in  blood,  though  in  costume,  lan- 
guage, and  general  appearance,  it  is  not  possible  to  distinguish 
then  from  Japanese  of  purest  blood.  By  the  humane  edict  of  the 
mikado,  in  1868,  granting  them  all  the  rights  of  citizenship,  their 
social  condition  has  greatly  improved. 

From  the  ninth  century  onward  to  the  sixteenth,  the  relations 
of  the  two  countries  seem  to  be  unimportant.  Japan  was  engaged 
in  c  onquering  northward  the  barbarians  of  her  main  island  and 
Yez  o.  Her  intercourse,  both  political  and  religious,  grew  to  be 
so  direct  with  the  court  of  China,  that  Corea,  in  the  Japanese 
annils,  sinks  out  of  sight  except  at  rare  intervals.  Nihon  in- 
creased in  wealth  and  civilization  while  Cho-sen  remained  station- 
ary or  retrograded.  In  the  nineteenth  century  the  awakened  Sun- 
rise Kingdom  has  seen  her  former  self  in  the  hermit  nation,  and 
has  stretched  forth  willing  hands  to  do  for  her  neighbor  now,  what 
Corea  did  for  Japan  in  centuries  long  gone  by. 

Still,  it  must  never  be  forgotten  that  Corea  was  not  only  the 
bridge  on  which  civilization  crossed  from  China  to  the  archipelago, 
but  was  most  probably  the  pathway  of  migration  by  which  the 
rule  rs  of  the  race  now  inhabiting  Nihon  reached  it  from  their  an- 
eesn-al  seats  around  the  Sungari  and  the  Ever- White  Mountains. 

62  COREA. 

True,  it  is  not  absolutely  certain  whether  the  homeland  of  the  mi- 
kado's ancestors  lay  southward  in  the  sea,  or  westward  among  the 
mountains,  but  that  the  mass  of  the  Corean  and  Japanese  people 
are  more  closely  allied  in  blood  than  either  are  with  the  Chinese, 
Manchius,  or  Malays,  seems  to  be  proved,  not  only  by  language 
and  physical  traits,  but  by  the  whole  course  of  the  history  of  both 
nations,  and  by  the  testimony  of  the  Chinese  records.  Both  Co- 
reans  and  Japanese  have  inherited  the  peculiar  institutions  of  their 
Fuyu  ancestors — that  race  which  alone  of  all  the  peoples  sprung 
from  Manchuria  migrated  toward  the  rising,  instead  of  toward  the 
setting,  sun. 



fertile  and  well-watered  region  drained  by  the  Amur  Kiver 
and  its  tributaries,  stretching  from  the  Pacific  Ocean  to  Lake  Bai- 
kal, covers  the  ancestral  seats  of  many  nations,  and  is  perhaps  the 
home  of  nations  yet  to  arise.  It  may  be  likened  to  a  great  inter- 
mittent geyser-spring  which,  at  intervals,  overflows  with  terrific 
forco  and  volume.  The  movements  of  population  southward  seem, 
on  a  review  of  Chinese  and  Corean  history,  almost  as  regular  as  a 
law  of  nature.  As  the  conquerors  from  the  central  Asian  plateaus 
have  over  and  over  again  descended  into  India,  as  the  barbarians 
overran  the  Roman  empire,  so  out  of  the  region  drained  by  the 
Amur  and  its  tributaries  have  burst  forth,  time  and  again,  floods  of 
conquest  to  overwhelm  the  rich  plains  of  China.  Or,  if  we  regard 
the  flowery  and  grassy  lands  of  Manchuria  and  beyond  as  a  great 
hive,  full  of  busy  life  which,  from  the  pressure  of  increasing  num- 
bers, must  swarm  off  to  relieve  the  old  home,  we  shall  have  a  true 
illustration.  Time  and  again  have  clouds  of  human  bees,  with  the 
sting  of  their  swords  and  the  honey  of  their  new  energy,  issued 
from  this  ancient  hive.  The  swarms  receive  different  names  in 
history :  Hun,  Turk,  Tartar,  Mongol,  Manchiu,  but  they  all  emerge 
from  the  same  source,  giving  or  receiving  dynastic  names,  but 
being  in  reality  Tungusic  people  of  the  same  basic  stock. 

A  tribe  inhabiting  one  of  the  ravines  or  rich  river  flats  of  the 
Surigari  region  increases  in  wealth  and  numbers.  A  powerful 
chksf  leads  them  to  war  and  victory.  Tribes  and  lands  are  an- 
nexed. Martial  valor,  wealth,  and  strength  increase.  Ambition 
and  the  pressure  of  numbers  tempt  to  farther  conquest.  Over 
and  beyond  the  Great  Wall  is  the  ever-glittering  prize — teeming 
China.  The  march  begins  southward.  After  many  a  battle,  and 
only,  it  may  be,  after  a  generation  of  war  against  the  imperial  le- 
gions beyond  the  frontiers,  the  goal  is  reached.  The  Middle 
Kingdom  is  conquered  and  a  new  dynasty  sits  on  the  Dragon 

64  COREA. 

Throne,  until  long  peace  enervates  and  luxury  weakens.  Then 
out  of  the  old  northern  seats  of  population  rolls  a  new  flood  of 
conquest,  and  a  new  swarm  of  conquerors  is  hived  off. 

Thus  we  see  the  original  land  embracing  the  Amur  and  Sun- 
gari  valleys  has  had  its  periods  of  power  and  decay,  of  historical 
and  unhistorical  life.  Unity  and  movement  make  history,  disin- 
tegration and  apathy  cause  the  page  of  history  to  be  blank.  But 
the  land  is  still  there  with  the  people  and  the  possibilities  of  the 

In  spite  of  the  associations  of  hoary  antiquity  that  clustei 
around  Asiatic  countries,  the  reader  of  history  does  not  expect  to 
hear  of  single  empires  enduring  through  many  centuries.  With 
the  exception  of  Japan,  no  nation  of  Asia  can  show  a  dynastic  line 
extending  through  a  millennium.  The  empires  founded  by  Asia- 
tic conquerors  are  short-lived.  The  countries  and  the  people 
remain,  but  the  rulers  constantly  change,  and  the  building  up, 
flourishing,  decay,  and  dissolution  suggest  the  seasons  rather  than 
the  centuries.  No  enduring  political  fabrics,  like  those  of  Rome 
or  Britain,  are  known  in  Asia.  Though  China  and  India  abide  like 
the  oak,  their  rulers  change  like  the  leaves.  Socially,  these  coun- 
tries are  the  symbols  of  petrifaction,  politically  they  are  as  the 
kaleidoscope.  From  this  law  of  continuous  political  mutation, 
Corea  has  not  been  free. 

In  one  of  these  epochs  of  historical  movement,  at  the  opening 
of  the  eighth  century,  there  arose  the  kingdom  of  Puhai,  the  capi- 
tal of  which  was  the  present  city  of  Kirin.  Its  northern  bounda- 
ries first  touched  the  Sungari,  and  later  the  Amur,  shifting  to  the 
Sungari  again.  Its  southern  border  was  at  first  the  Tumen  River, 
and  later  the  modern  province  of  Ham-kiung  was  included  in  it. 
Lines  drawn  southwardly  through  Lake  Hanka  on  the  east,  and 
Mukden  on  the  west,  would  enclose  its  longitude.  Its  life  lasted 
from  about  700  to  925  A.D.  This  kingdom  was  continually  on  bad 
terms  with  China,  and  the  Tang  emperors  for  nearly  a  century  at- 
tempted to  crush  it  into  vassalage.  Puhai  made  brave  resistance, 
being  aided  not  only  by  the  large  numbers  of  Koraians,  who  had 
fled  when  beaten  by  the  Chinese  across  the  Tumen  River,  but  also 
by  the  Japanese,  whose  supremacy  they  acknowledged  by  payment 
of  tribute.  With  the  latter  their  relations  were  always  of  a  peace- 
ful and  pleasant  nature,  and  the  correspondence  and  other  docu- 
ments of  the  visiting  embassies  to  the  mikado's  court  are  still  pre- 
served in  Japan. 


Yet  though  Puhai  was  able  to  resist  China  and  hold  part  of 
the  old  territory  of  Korai,  it  fell  before  the  persistent  attacks  of 
the  Kitan  tribes,  whose  empire,  lasting  from  907  to  1125  A.D., 
stretcl  ed  from  west  of  Lake  Baikal  to  the  Pacific  Ocean.  In  the 
early  part  of  the  tenth  century  this  Puhai  kingdom,  whose  age 
was  sc  ircely  two  centuries,  melted  away  again  into  tribes  and  vil- 
lages, each  with  its  chief.  The  country  being  without  political 
unity  returned  to  unhistorical  obscurity,  as  part  of  the  Kitan  em- 
pire. Without  crossing  the  Tumen,  to  enter  China  by  way  of 
Corea,  the  Kitans  marched  at  once  around  the  Ever- White  Moun- 
tains and  down  the  Liao  Tung  valley  into  China. 

The  breaking  up  of  Puhai  was  not  without  its  influence  on  the 
Corean  peninsula.  As  early  as  the  ninth  century  thousands  of 
refugees,  driven  before  the  Kitans  or  dissatisfied  with  nomad  life 
on  the  plains,  recrossed  the  Tumen  and  a  great  movement  of  emi- 
gration set  into  Northern  Corea,  which  again  became  populous, 
cultivated,  and  rich.  With  increasing  prosperity  better  govern- 
ment ^vas  desired.  The  worthlessness  of  the  rulers  and  the  pros- 
pect of  a  successful  revolution  tempted  the  ambition  of  a  Buddh- 
ist monk  named  Kung-wo  who,  in  912  A.D.,  left  his  monastery 
and  raised  the  flag  of  rebellion.  He  set  forth  to  establish  another 
political  fabric  of  mushroom  duration,  which  was  destined  to 
make  way  for  a  more  permanent  kingdom,  and,  in  the  end,  united 

With  his  followers,  Kung-wo  attacked  the  city  of  Kaichow  (in 
the  modern  Kang-wen  province),  and  was  so  far  successful  as  to 
enter  it  and  proclaim  himself  king.  His  personal  success  was 
of  short  duration.  His  lieutenant,  Wang-ken,  that  is  Wang  the 
founder,  was  a  descendant  of  the  old  kingly  house  of  Korai.  Dur- 
ing all  the  time  of  Chinese  occupancy,  or  Shinra  supremacy,  his 
famil}  had  kept  alive  their  spirit,  traditions,  and  claims.  Think 
ing  h(  could  rule  better  than  a  priest,  Wang  put  the  ex-monk  to 
death  and  proclaimed  himself  the  true  sovereign  of  Korai.  All 
this  ^  ent  on  without  the  interference  of  China,  which  at  this  time 
was  torn  by  internal  disorder  and  the  ravages  of  the  same  Kitan 
tribes  that  had  destroyed  Puhai.  Wang  made  Ping-an  and  Kai- 
chow the  capitals  of  his  kingdom,  and  resolved  to  take  full  advan- 
tage of  his  opportunity  to  conquer  the  entire  peninsula  and  unite 
all  its  parts  under  his  sceptre. 

Circumstances  made  this  an  easy  task.  With  China  passive, 
Shinr  i  weak,  through  long  absorption  in  luxury  and  the  arts  of 


peace,  and  with  most  part  of  the  population  of  the  peninsula  of 
Korain  blood  and  descent,  the  work  was  easy.  The  whole  country, 
from  the  Ever- White  Mountains  to  Quelpart  Island,  was  overrun 
and  welded  into  unity.  The  name  of  Shinra  was  blotted  out  after 
a  line  of  fifty-six  kings  and  a  life  of  nine  hundred  and  ninety-three 
years.  For  the  first  time  the  peninsula  became  a  political  unit, 
and  the  name  Korai,  springing  to  life  again  like  the  Arabian 
phoanix  out  of  its  ashes,  became  the  symbol  alike  of  united  Corea 
and  of  the  race  which  peopled  it.  Even  yet  the  name  Korai 
(Gauli  or  Gori  in  the  vernacular)  is  generally  used  by  the  people. 

The  probabilities  are  that  the  people  of  the  old  Fuyu  race, 
descendants  of  the  tribes  of  Kokorai,  as  the  more  vigorous  stock, 
had  already  so  far  supplanted  the  old  aboriginal  people  inhabiting 
Southern  Corea  as  to  make  conquest  by  Wang,  who  was  one  of 
their  own  blood,  easy.  This  is  shown  in  a  series  of  maps  repre- 
senting the  three  kingdoms  of  Corea  from  201  to  655  A.D.,  by  the 
Japanese  scholar  Otsuki  Toyo.  At  the  former  date  the  Kokorai 
people  beyond  that  part  of  their  domain  conquered  by  China  have 
occupied  the  land  as  far  south  as  the  Han  Eiver,  or  to  the  37th 
parallel.  Later,  Shinra,  in  593,  and  again  in  655,  backed  by  Chi- 
nese armies,  had  regained  her  territory  a  degree  or  two  northward, 
and  in  the  eighth  and  ninth  centuries,  acting  as  the  ally  of  China, 
ruled  all  the  country  to  the  Tumen  Kiver.  Yet,  though  Shinra 
held  the  land,  the  inhabitants  were  the  same,  namely,  the  stock  of 
Korai,  ready  to  rise  against  their  rulers  and  to  annihilate  Shinra 
in  a  name  and  monarchy  that  had  in  it  nationality  and  the  pres- 
tige of  their  ancient  freedom  and  greatness. 

Thoroughly  intent  on  unifying  his  realm,  Wang  chose  a  central 
location  for  the  national  capital.  Kion-chiu,  the  metropolis  of 
Shinra,  was  too  far  south,  Ping-an,  the  royal  seat  of  old  Korai, 
was  too  far  north  ;  but  one  hundred  miles  nearer  "the  river  "  Han, 
was  Sunto.  This  city,  now  called  Kai-seng,  is  twenty-five  miles 
from  Seoul  and  equally  near  the  sea.  Wang  made  Sunto  what  it 
has  been  for  over  nine  centuries,  a  fortified  city  of  the  first  rank, 
the  chief  commercial  centre  of  the  country,  and  a  seat  of  learning. 
It  remained  the  capital  until  1392  A.D.  Wang-ken  or  Wang,  the 
founder  of  the  new  dynasty  under  which  the  people  were  to  be 
governed  for  over  four  hundred  years,  was  an  ardent  Buddhist. 
Spite  of  his  having  put  the  monk  to  death  to  further  personal 
ends,  he  became  the  defender  of  the  India  faith  and  made  it  the 
official  religion.  Monasteries  were  founded  and  temples  built  in 


great  numbers.  To  furnish  revenues  for  the  support  of  these, 
tracts  of  land  were  set  apart  as  permanent  endowment.  The  four 
centi  ries  of  the  house  of  Korai  are  the  palmy  days  of  Corean 

From  China,  which  at  this  time  was  enjoying  that  era  of  liter- 
ary splendor,  for  which  the  Sung  dynasty  was  noted,  there  came 
an  impulse  both  to  scholastic  activity  and  to  something  approach- 
ing popular  education. 

The  Nido,  or  native  syllabary,  which  had  been  invented  by 
Chul-  chong,  the  statesman  of  Shinra,  now  came  into  general  use. 
While  Chinese  literature  and  the  sacred  books  of  Buddhism  were 
studied  in  the  original  Sanscrit,  popular  works  were  composed  in 
Corean  and  written  out  in  the  Nido,  or  vernacular  syllables.  The 
printing  press,  invented  by  the  Sung  scholars,  was  introduced  and 
books  were  printed  from  cut  blocks.  The  Japanese  are  known  to 
have  adopted  printing  from  Corea  as  early  as  the  twelfth  century, 
when  a  work  of  the  Buddhist  canon  was  printed  from  wooden 
blocks.  "A  Corean  book  is  known  which  dates  authentically  from 
the  period  1317-1324,  over  a  century  before  the  earliest  printed 
book  known  in  Europe."  The  use  of  metal  type,  made  by  mould- 
ing and  casting,  is  not  distinctly  mentioned  in  Corea  until  the  year 
1420,  and  the  invention  and  use  of  the  Unmun,  a  true  native  al- 
phabet, seems  to  belong  to  the  same  period.  The  eleven  vowels 
and  fourteen  consonants  serve  both  as  an  alphabet  and  a  syllabary, 
the  latter  being  the  most  ancient  system,  and  the  former  an  im- 
prove ment  on  it. 

The  unifier  of  Corea  died  in  945  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son 
Wu.  Fifteen  years  later  the  last  of  the  five  weak  dynasties  that 
had  rapidly  succeeded  each  other  in  China,  fell.  The  Chinese 
emperor  proposing,  and  the  Corean  king  being  willing,  the  latter 
hastened  to  send  tribute,  and  formed  an  alliance  of  friendship 
with  the  imperial  Sung,  who  swayed  the  destinies  of  China  for 
the  next  166  years  (960-1101). 

Korai  soon  came  into  collision  with  theKitans  in  the  following 
main  er.  The  royal  line  of  united  Corea  traced  their  descent  di- 
rectly from  the  ancient  kings  of  Kokorai,  and  therefore  claimed 
relationship  with  the  princes  of  Puhai.  On  the  strength  of  this 
clain;,  the  Koraian  king  asserted  his  right  to  the  whole  of  Liao 
Tung,  which  had  been  formerly  held  by  Puhai.  The  Kitans,  hav- 
ing natters  of  greater  importance  to  attend  to  at  the  time,  allowed 
its  temporary  occupation  by  Korai  troops.  Nevertheless  the  king 

68  COREA. 

thought  it  best  to  send  homage  to  the  Kitan  emperor,  in  order  to 
get  a  clear  title  to  the  territory.  In  1012  he  despatched  an  em- 
bassy acknowledging  the  Kitan  supremacy.  This  verbal  message 
did  not  satisfy  the  strong  conqueror,  who  demanded  that  the 
Koraian  king  should  come  in  person  and  make  obeisance.  The 
latter  refused.  A  feud  at  once  broke  out  between  them,  which  led 
to  a  war,  in  which  Korai  was  worsted  and  stripped  of  all  her  terri- 
tory west  of  the  Yalu  Kiver. 

Palladius  has  pointed  out  the  interesting  fact  that  a  little  vil- 
lage about  twenty  miles  north  of  Tie-ling,  and  seventy  miles  north 
of  Mukden,  called  Gauli-chan  (Korai  village)  still  witnesses  by  its 
name  to  its  former  history,  and  to  the  possession  by  Corea  of  ter- 
ritory west  of  the  Yalu. 

The  Kitans,  not  satisfied  with  recovering  Liao  Tung,  crossed 
the  river  and  invaded  Korai,  in  1015.  By  this  time  a  new  nation, 
under  the  name  of  Niijun  or  Ninchi,  had  formed  around  Lake 
Hanka,  in  part  of  the  territory  of  extinct  Puhai.  With  their  new 
frontagers  the  Koraians  made  an  alliance  "as  solid  as  iron  and 
stone,"  and  with  their  aid  drove  back  the  Kitan  invaders. 

Henceforth  the  boundaries  of  Corea  remained  stationary,  and 
have  never  extended  beyond  the  limits  with  which  the  western 
world  is  familiar. 

An  era  of  peace  and  prosperity  set  in,  and  a  thriving  trade 
sprang  up  between  the  Niijun  and  Korai.  The  two  nations,  ce- 
mented in  friendship  through  a  common  fear  of  the  Kitans,  grew 
apace  in  numbers  and  prosperity. 

The  Kitans  were  known  to  Chinese  authors  as  early  as  the  fifth 
century,  seven  nomad  tribes  being  at  that  time  confederate  under 
their  banners.  At  the  beginning  of  the  tenth  century,  these  wan- 
derers had  been  transformed  into  hordes  of  disciplined  cavalry. 
Their  wealth  and  intelligence  having  increased  by  conquest,  they 
formed  a  great  empire  in  925,  which  extended  from  the  Altai 
Mountains  to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  and  from  within  the  Great  Wall 
to  the  Yablonoi  Mountains,  having  Peking  for  one  of  its  capitals. 
It  flourished  until  the  twelfth  century  (A.D.  1125),  when  it  gave 
way  to  the  Kin  empire,  which  held  Mongolia  and  still  more  terri- 
tory than  the  Kitans  possessed  within  what  is  now  China  proper. 

This  Kin  empire  was  founded  by  the  expansion  of  the  Nujun, 
who,  from  their  seats  north  of  the  Tumen  and  east  of  the  Sungari, 
had  gradually  widened,  and  by  conquest  absorbed  the  Kitans. 
Aguta,  the  founder  of  the  new  empire,  gave  it  the  name  of  the 


Goldea  Dominion.  During  its  existence  Corea  was  not  troubled 
by  he]1  great  neighbor,  and  for  two  hundred  years  enjoyed  peace 
within  her  borders.  Her  commerce  now  nourished  at  all  points 
of  the  compass,  both  on  land,  with  her  northern  and  western 
neighbors,  with  the  Japanese  on  the  east,  and  the  Chinese  south 
and  west.  Much  direct  intercourse  in  ships,  guided  by  the  mag- 
netic needle,  "the  chariot  of  the  south,"  took  place  between 
Ningpo  and  Sunto.  Mr.  Edkins  states  that  the  oldest  recorded 
instance  of  the  use  of  the  mariner's  compass  is  that  in  the  Chinese 
historian's  account  of  the  voyage  of  the  imperial  ambassador  to 
Corea.  from  Nanking  by  way  of  Ningpo,  in  a  fleet  of  eight  vessels, 
in  the  year  1122. 

The  Arabs,  who  about  this  time  were  also  trading  with  the 
Corea:is,  and  had  lived  in  their  country,  soon  afterward  introduced 
this  slent  friend  of  the  mariner  into  their  own  country  in  the 
west,  whence  it  found  its  way  into  Europe  and  to  the  hands  of 
Columbus.  To  the  eye  of  the  Corean  its  mysterious  finger  pointed 
to  the  south.  To  the  western  man  it  pointed  to  the  lode-star. 

The  huge  wide-open  eyes  which  the  sailors  of  Chinese  Asia 
paint  at  the  prow  of  their  ship,  to  discover  a  path  in  the  sea, 
became  more  than  ever  an  empty  fancy  before  this  unerring  path- 
finder As  useless  as  the  ever-open  orbs  on  a  mummy  lid,  these 
lidless-  eyes  were  relegated  to  the  domain  of  poetry,  while  the 
swinging  needle  opened  new  paths  of  science  and  discovery. 

Coin  of  Korai.     "  Ko-ka  "   (Name  of  Year-Period).     "Current   Money." 



AFTER  a  long  breathing-spell — as  one,  in  reading  history,  might 
call  it — the  old  hive  in  the  north  was  again  ready  to  swarm.  It  was 
to  be  seen  once  more  how  useless  was  the  Great  Wall  of  China  in 
keeping  back  the  many-named  invaders,  known  in  history  by  the 
collective  term  Tatars.  A  new  people  began  descending  from 
their  homeland,  which  lay  near  the  northern  and  eastern  shores  of 
Lake  Baikal.  This  inland  sea — scarcely  known  in  the  school 
geographies,  or  printed  in  the  average  atlas  in  such  proportionate 
dimensions  as  to  suggest  a  pond — is  one  of  the  largest  lakes  in 
the  world,  being  370  miles  long  and  covering  13,300  square  miles 
of  surface.  Its  shores  are  now  inhabited  by  Eussian  colonists  and 
its  waters  are  navigated  by  whole  fleets  of  ships  and  steamers.  It 
lies  1,280  feet  above  the  sea. 

Beginning  their  migrations  from  this  point,  in  numbers  and 
bulk  that  suggest  only  the  snowball,  the  Mongol  horsemen  moved 
with  resistless  increase  and  momentum,  consolidating  into  their 
mass  tribe  after  tribe,  until  their  horde  seemed  an  avalanche  of 
humanity  that  threatened  to  crush  all  civilization  and  engulph  the 
whole  earth.  These  mounted  highlauders  from  the  north  were 
creatures  who  seemed  to  be  horse  and  man  in  one  being,  and  to 
actualize  the  old  fable  of  the  Centaurs.  With  a  tiger-skin  for  a 
saddle,  a  thong  loop  with  only  the  rider's  great  toe  thrust  in  it  for 
a  stirrup,  a  string  in  the  horse's  lower  jaw  for  a  bridle,  armed 
with  spear  and  cimeter,  these  conquerors  who  despised  walls  went 
forth  to  level  cities  and  slaughter  all  who  resisted.  In  their  raids 
they  found  food  ever  ready  in  the  beasts  they  rode,  for  a  reeking 
haunch  of  horse-meat,  cut  from  the  steed  whose  saddle  had  been 
emptied  by  arrow  or  accident,  was  usually  found  slung  to  their 
pommels.  A  slice  of  this,  raw  or  warmed,  served  to  sustain  life 
for  these  hard  riders,  who  lived  all  day  in  the  saddle  and  at  night 
slept  with  it  wrapped  around  them. 

For  a  century  the  power  of  these  nomads  was  steadily  grow- 


ing,  before  they  emerged  clearly  into  history  and  loomed  up  before 
the  frontiers  of  the  empire.  The  master  mind  and  hand  that 
moulded  them  into  unity  was  Genghis  Khan  (1160-1227  A.D.). 

Who  was  Genghis  Khan  ?  A  Japanese  writer,  who  is  also  a 
travel  er  in  Corea  and  China,  has  written  in  English  a  thesis  which 
shows,  with  strong  probability,  at  least,  that  this  unifier  of  Asia  was 
Gen-Ghike,  or  Yoshitsune.  This  Japanese  hero,  born  in  1159,  was 
the  fit  Id-marshal  of  the  army  of  the  Minamoto  who  annihilated  the 
Taira  family.1  In  1189,  having  fled  from  his  jealous  brother,  Yori- 
tomo,  he  reached  Yezo  and  thence  crossed,  it  is  believed,  to  Man- 
chum,.  His  was  probably  the  greatest  military  mind  which  Japan 
ever  produced. 

That  Yoshitsune  and  Genghis  Khan  were  one  person  is  argued 
by  Mi.  Suyematz,2  who  brings  a  surprising  array  of  coincidences  to 
prove  his  thesis.  These  are  in  names,  titles,  ages,  dates,  personal 
characteristics,  flags  and  banners,  myths  and  traditions,  nomen- 
clature of  families,  localities  and  individuals,  and  Japanese  relics, 
coins,  arms,  and  fortresses  in  Manchuria.  Without  reaching  the 
point  of  demonstration,  it  seems  highly  probable  that  this  wonder- 
ful personality,  this  marvellous  intellect,  was  of  Japanese  origin. 

Whoever  this  restless  spirit  was,  it  is  certain  that  he  gathered 
tribes  once  living  in  freedom  like  the  wild  waves  into  the  unity  of 
the  restless  sea,  Out  from  the  grassy  plains  of  Manchuria  rolled 
a  tidi'1-wave  of  conquest  that  swept  over  Asia,  and  flung  its  last 
drops  of  spray  alike  over  Japan,  India,  and  Russia.  Among  the  na- 
tions completely  overrun  and  overwhelmed  by  the  Mongol  hordes 
was  Corea. 

In  1206,  Yezokai — the  word  in  Japanese  means  Yezo  Sea — the 
leader  of  the  Mongols,  at  the  request  of  his  chieftains,  took  the  name 
of  G(  nghis  Khan  and  proclaimed  himself  the  ruler  of  an  empire. 
He  nc  w  set  before  himself  the  task  of  subduing  the  Kitans  and  ab- 
sorbing their  land  and  people,  preparatory  to  the  conquest  of 
Chin&.  This  was  accomplished  in  less  than  six  years.  Liao  Tung 
was  invaded  and,  in  1213,  his  armies  were  inside  the  Great  Wall. 
Three  mighty  hosts  were  now  organized,  one  to  overrun  all  China 
to  Nepal  and  Anam,  one  to  conquer  Corea  and  Japan,  and  one  to 
bear  the  white  banners  of  the  Mongols  across  Asia  into  Europe. 
This  ~vork,  though  not  done  in  a  day,  was  nearly  completed  before 

1  The  Mikado's  Empire,  Chapters  XIII.  and  XIV. 

2  The  Identity  of  the  Great  Conqueror,  Genghis  Khan,  with  the  Japanese 
Hero  Yoshitsune,  by  K.  Suyematz  of  Japan.     London,  1879. 

72  COREA. 

a  generation  passed.1  Genghis  Khan  led  the  host  that  moved  to 
the  west.  In  1218  the  Corean  king  declared  himself  a  vassal  of 
Genghis.  In  1231  the  murder  of  a  Mongol  envoy  in  Corea  was 
the  cause  of  the  first  act  of  war.  The  Mongols  invaded  the  coun- 
try, captured  forty  of  the  principal  towns,  received  the  humiliation 
of  the  king,  who  had  fled  to  Kang-wa  Island,  and  began  the  aboli- 
tion of  Corean  independence  by  appointing  seventy-two  Mongol 
prefects  to  administer  the  details  of  local  government.  The  people, 
exasperated  by  the  new  and  strange  methods  of  their  foreign  con- 
querors, rose  against  them  and  murdered  them  all.  This  was  the 
signal  for  a  second  and  more  terrible  invasion.  A  great  Mongol 
army  overran  the  country  in  1241,  fought  a  number  of  pitched 
battles,  defeated  the  king,  and  again  imposed  heavy  tribute  on 
their  humbled  vassal.  In  1256  the  Corean  king  went  in  person  to 
do  homage  at  the  court  of  the  conqueror  of  continents. 

In  the  details  of  the  Mongol  rule  kindness  and  cruelty  were 
blended.  The  most  relentless  military  measures  were  taken  to 
secure  obedience  after  the  conciliatory  policy  failed.  By  using 
both  methods  the  great  Khan  kept  his  hold  on  the  little  peninsula, 
although  the  Coreans  manifested  a  constant  disposition  to  revolt. 

About  this  time  began  a  brilliant  half  century  of  intercourse 
between  Europe  and  Cathay,  which  has  been  studied  and  illustra- 
ted in  the  writings  of  Colonel  H.  Yule.  The  two  Franciscan  monks 
Carpinini  and  Rubruquis  visited  China,  and  the  camps  of  the  great 
Khan,  between  the  years  1245  and  1253.  By  their  graphic  narra- 
tives, in  which  the  wars  of  Genghis  were  described,  they  made  the 
name  of  Cathay  (from  Kitai,  or  Kitan)  familiar  in  Europe.  Matteo, 
Nicolo,  and  Marco  Polo,  who  came  later,  as  representatives  of  the 
commerce  which  afterward  flourished  between  Venice  and  Genoa, 
and  Ningpo  and  Annoy,  were  but  a  few  among  many  merchants 
and  travellers.  Embassies  from  the  Popes  and  the  Khan  ex- 
changed courtesies  at  Avignon  and  Cambaluc  (Peking).  Christian 
churches  were  established  in  Peking  and  other  cities  by  the  Fran- 
ciscan monks.  The  various  Europeans  who  have  saved  their  own 
names  and  a  few  others  from  oblivion,  and  have  left  us  a  roman- 
tic, but  in  the  main  a  truthful,  picture  of  mediaeval  China  and  the 
Mongols,  were  probably  only  the  scribes  among  a  host  who  traded 
or  travelled,  but  never  told  their  story.  Among  the  marvels  of  the 
empire  of  the  Mongols,  in  which  one  might  walk  safely  from  Corea 
to  Russia,  was  religious  toleration.  When,  however,  the  Mongols 

1  See  Howorth's  History  of  the  Mongols,  London,  1876. 


of  central  Asia  embraced  the  creed  of  Islam,  bigotry  closed  the 
highway  into  Europe,  and  communications  ceased.  Cathay,  Zi- 
pangu,  and  Corea  again  sunk  from  the  eyes  of  Europe  into  the 
night  of  historic  darkness. 

Khublai  Khan  having  succeeded  his  grandfather,  Genghis,  and 
being  now  ruler  of  all  the  Asiatic  mainland,  resolved,  in  1266,  to 
conquer  Japan.  He  wrote  a  letter  to  the  mikado,  but  the  envoys 
were  so  frightened  by  the  Corean's  exaggerated  account  of  the 
difficulties  of  reaching  the  empire  in  the  sea,  that  they  never  sailed. 
Othe :  embassies  were  despatched  in  1271  and  1273,  and  Khublai 
began  to  prepare  a  mighty  flotilla  and  army  of  invasion.  One 
hundred  of  the  ships  were  built  on  Quelpart  Island.  His  armada, 
consisting  of  300  vessels  and  15,000  men,  Chinese,  Mongols,  and 
Coreans,  sailed  to  Japan  and  was  met  by  the  Japanese  off  the  isl- 
and of  Tin.  Owing  to  their  valor,  but  more  to  the  tempest  that 
arose,  the  expedition  was  a  total  loss,  only  a  few  of  the  original 
number  reaching  Corea  alive. 

Evidently  desirous  of  conquering  Japan  by  diplomacy,  the 
great  Khan  despatched  an  embassy  which  reached,  not  the  mi- 
kado's, but  only  the  sho-gun's  court  in  1275.  His  ambassadors 
were  accompanied  by  a  large  retinue  from  his  Corean  vassals. 
The  Japanese  allowed  only  three  of  the  imposing  number  to  go 
to  Kamakura,  twelve  miles  from  the  modern  Tokio,  and  paid  no 
attention  to  the  Khan's  threatening  letters.  So  irritated  were  the 
brave  islanders  that  when  another  ambassador  from  the  Khan  ar- 
rived, in  the  following  year,  he  disembarked  as  a  prisoner  and  was 
escorted,  bound,  to 'Kamakura,  where  he  was  thrown  into  prison, 
kept  during  four  years,  and  taken  out  only  to  be  beheaded. 

I  Ipon  hearing  this,  Khublai  began  the  preparation  of  the  mighti- 
est of  his  invading  hosts.  To  be  braved  by  a  little  island  nation, 
when  his  sceptre  ruled  from  the  Dnieper  to  the  Yellow  Sea,  was 
not  to  be  thought  of.  Various  fleets  and  contingents  sailed  from 
different  ports  in  China  and  made  rendezvous  on  the  Corean  coast. 
The  fleet  was  composed  of  3,500  war  junks,  of  large  size,  having  on 
board  180,000  Chinese,  Mongols,  and  Coreans.  Among  their  en- 
gines of  war  were  the  catapults  which  the  Polos  had  taught  them 
to  make.  They  set  sail  in  the  autumn  of  1281. 

From  the  very  first  the  enterprise  miscarried.  The  general-in- 
chiei'  fell  sick  and  the  command  devolved  on  a  subordinate,  who 
had  no  plan  of  operation.  The  various  divisions  of  the  force  be- 
came separated.  It  is  probable  that  the  majority  of  them  never 

74  COREA. 

reached  the  mainland  of  Japan.  The  Mongol  and  Corean  contin- 
gent reached  the  province  of  Chikuzen,  but  were  not  allowed  to 
make  a  successful  landing,  for  the  Japanese  drove  them  back  with 
sword  and  fire.  The  Chinese  division,  arriving  later,  was  met  by 
a  terrible  tempest  that  nearly  annihilated  them  and  destroyed  the 
ships  already  engaged.  The  broken  remnant  of  the  fleet  and 
armies,  taking  refuge  on  the  island  of  Iki,  were  attacked  by  the 
Japanese  and  nearly  all  slain,  imprisoned,  or  beheaded  in  cold 
blood.  Only  a  few  reached  Corea  to  tell  the  tale. 

The  "  Mongol  civilization,"  so-called,  seems  to  have  had  little 
influence  on  Corea.  The  mighty  empire  of  Genghis  soon  broke 
into  many  fragments.  The  vast  fabric  of  his  government  melted 
like  a  sand  house  before  an  incoming  wave,  and  that  wave  receding 
left  scarcely  a  sediment  recognizable  on  the  polity  or  social  life  of 
Corea.  Marco  Polo  in  his  book  hardly  mentions  the  country,  though 
describing  Zipangu  or  Japan  quite  fully.  One  evil  effect  of  their 
forced  assistance  given  to  the  Mongols,  was  that  the  hatred  of  the 
Japanese  and  Coreans  for  each  other  was  mutually  intensified 
After  the  Mongolian  invasion  begins  that  series  of  piratical  raid; 
on  their  coast  and  robbery  of  their  vessels  at  sea,  by  Japanese 
adventurers,  that  made  navigation  beyond  sight  of  land  and  ship- 
building among  the  Coreans  almost  a  lost  art. 

The  centuries  following  the  Mongol  invasion  were  periods  of 
anarchy  and  civil  war  in  Japan,  and  the  central  government  au- 
thority being  weak  the  pirates  could  not  be  controlled.  Building 
or  stealing  ships,  bands  of  Japanese  sailors  or  ex-soldiers  put  to 
sea,  capturing  Corean  boats,  junks,  and  surf-rafts.  Landing,  they 
harried  the  shores  and  robbed  and  murdered  the  defenceless  peo- 
ple. Growing  bolder,  the  marauders  sailed  into  the  Yellow  Sea 
and  landed  even  in  China  and  in  Liao  Tung.  They  kept  whole 
towns  and  cities  in  terror,  and  a  chain  of  coast  forts  had  to  be 
built  in  Shan-tung  to  defend  that  province. 

The  fire-signals  which,  in  the  old  days  of  "  the  Three  King- 
doms," had  flashed  upon  the  headlands  to  warn  of  danger  seaward, 
were  now  made  a  national  service.  The  system  was  perfected  so 
as  to  converge  at  the  capital,  Sunto,  and  give  notice  of  danger 
from  any  point  on  the  coast.  By  this  means  better  protection 
against  the  sea-rovers  was  secured. 

All  this  evil  experience  with  the  piratical  Japanese  of  the  mid- 
dle ages  has  left  its  impress  on  the  language  of  the  Coreans. 
From  this  period,  perhaps  even  long  before  it,  date  those  worda 



of  sin  ster  omen  of  which  we  give  but  one  or  two  examples  which 
have  ihe  prefix  wai  (Japan)  in  them.  A  wai-kol,  a  huge,  fierce  man, 
of  gigantic  aspect,  with  a  bad  head,  though  perhaps  with  good 
heart,  a  kind  of  ogre,  is  a  Japanese  kol  or  creature.  A  destructive 
wind  3r  typhoon  is  a  Japanese  wind.  As  western  Christendom  for 
centu-ies  uttered  their  fears  of  the  Norse  pirates,  "  From  the  fury 
of  the  Northmen,  Good  Lord,  deliver  us,"  so  the  Korai  people, 

Two-Masted   Corean  Vessel  (from  a  Photograph  taken  in   1871). 

along  the  coast,  for  many  generations  offered  up  constant  petition 
to  th(  ir  gods  for  protection  against  these  Northmen  of  the  Pacific. 
This  chronic  danger  from  Japanese  pirates,  which  Korai  and 
Chosen  endured  for  a  period  nearly  as  extended  as  that  of  Eng- 
land from  the  Northmen,  is  one  of  the  causes  that  have  contribu- 
ted to  make  the  natives  dread  the  sea  as  a  path  for  enemies,  and 
in  Corea  we  see  the  strange  anomaly  of  a  people  more  than  semi- 
civilised  whose  wretched  boats  scarcely  go  beyond  tide-water. 



IT  will  be  remembered  that  the  first  Chinese  settler  and  civ- 
ilizer  of  Corea,  Ki  Tsze,  gave  it  the  name  of  Cho-sen.  Coming 
from  violence  and  war,  to  a  land  of  peace  which  lay  eastward  of 
his  old  home,  Ki  Tsze  selected  for  his  new  dwelling-place  a  name 
at  once  expressive  of  its  outward  position  and  his  own  inward  emo- 
tions— Cho-sen,  or  Morning  Calm. 

For  eleven  centuries  a  part  of  Manchuria,  including,  as  the 
Coreans  believe,  the  northern  half  of  the  peninsula,  bore  this 
name.  From  the  Christian  era  until  the  tenth  century,  the  names 
of  the  three  kingdoms,  Shinra,  Hiaksai,  and  Kokorai,  or  Korai, 
express  the  divided  political  condition  of  the  country.  On  the  fall 
of  these  petty  states,  the  united  peninsula  was  called  Korai.  Korai 
existed  from  A.D.  934  until  A.D.  1392,  when  the  ancient  name  of 
Cho-sen  was  restored.  Though  the  Coreans  often  speak  of  their 
country  as  Korai  (Gauli,  or  Gori),  it  is  as  the  English  speak  of 
Britain — with  a  patriotic  feeling  rather  than  for  accuracy.  Cho- 
sen is  still  the  official  and  popular  designation  of  the  country. 
This  name  is  at  once  the  oldest  and  the  newest. 

The  first  bestowal  of  this  name  on  the  peninsula  was  in  poetic 
mood,  and  was  the  symbol  of  a  peaceful  triumph.  The  second 
gift  of  the  name  was  the  index  of  a  political  revolution  not  un- 
accompanied with  bloodshed.  The  latter  days  of  the  dynasty 
founded  by  Wang  were  marked  by  licentiousness  and  effeminacy 
in  the  palace,  and  misrule  in  the  country.  The  people  hated  the 
cruelties  of  their  monarch,  the  thirty-second  of  his  line,  and  longed 
for  a  deliverer.  Such  a  one  was  Ni  Taijo  (Japanese,  Ei  Seiki),  who 
was  born  in  the  region  of  Broughton's  Bay,  in  the  Ham-kiung 
province.  It  is  said  of  him  that  from  his  youth  he  surpassed  all 
others  in  virtue,  intelligence,  and  skill  in  manly  exercises.  He 
was  especially  fond  of  hunting  with  the  falcon. 

One  day,  while  in  the  woods,  his  favorite  bird,  in  pursuing  its 

NEW  CHO-SEN.  77 

quarry,  flew  so  far  ahead  that  it  was  lost  to  the  sight  of  its  master. 
Haste) ling  after  it  the  young  man  espied  a  shrine  at  the  roadside 
into  AA  hich  he  saw  his  hawk  fly.  Entering,  he  found  within  a  her- 
mit pi  lest.  Awed  and  abashed  at  the  weird  presence  of  the  white- 
beardod  sage,  the  lad  for  a  moment  was  speechless  ;  but  the  old 
man,  addressing  him,  said  :  "  What  benefit  is  it  for  a  youth  of  your 
abilities  to  be  seeking  a  stray  falcon  ?  A  throne  is  a  richer  prize. 
Betaka  yourself  at  once  to  the  capital." 

Acting  upon  the  hint  thus  given  him,  and  leaving  the  falcon 
behind,  Taijo  wended  his  way  westward  to  Sunto,  and  entered  the 
military  service  of  the  king.  He  soon  made  his  mark  and  rapidly 
rose  t3  high  command,  until  he  became  lieutenant-general  of  the 
whole  army.  He  married  and  reared  children,  and  through  the 
espousal  of  his  daughter  by  the  king,  became  father-in-law  to  his 

The  influence  of  Taijo  was  now  immense.  While  with  his 
soldierly  abilities  he  won  the  enthusiastic  regard  of  the  army,  his 
popularity  with  the  people  rested  solely  on  his  virtues.  Possessed 
of  such  influence  with  the  court,  the  soldiers,  and  the  country  at 
large,  he  endeavored  to  reform  the  abuse  of  power  and  to  curb  the 
cruellies  of  the  king.  Even  to  give  advice  to  a  despot  is  an  act  of 
bravery,  but  Taijo  dared  to  do  it  again  and  again.  The  king,  how- 
ever, refused  to  follow  the  counsel  of  his  father-in-law  or  to  reform 
abuse  s.  He  thus  daily  increased  the  odium  in  which  he  was  held 
by  1m  subjects. 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  toward  the  end  of  the  fourteenth 
century,  when  everything  was  ripe  for  revolution. 

Ii  China,  great  events,  destined  to  influence  "the  little  king- 
dom,'  were  taking  place.  The  Mongol  dynasty,  even  after  the 
breaking  up  of  the  empire  founded  by  Genghis  Khan,  still  held 
the  d  -agon  throne ;  but  during  the  later  years  of  their  reign,  when 
harassed  by  enemies  at  home,  Corea  was  neglected  and  her  tribute 
rema  ned  unpaid.  A  spasmodic  attempt  to  resubdue  the  lapsed 
vassa;,  and  make  Corea  a  Mongol  castle  of  refuge  from  impending 
dooir,  was  ruined  by  the  energy  and  valor  of  Ni  Taijo.  The 
would-be  invaders  were  driven  back.  The  last  Mongol  emperor 
fell  in  1341,  and  the  native  Ming,  or  "Bright,"  dynasty  came  into 
power,  and  in  1368  was  firmly  established. 

Their  envoys  being  sent  to  Corea  demanded  pledges  of  vassal- 
age. The  king  neglected,  finally  refused,  and  ordered  fresh  levies 
to  be  made  to  resist  the  impending  invasion  of  the  Chinese.  In 

78  COREA. 

this  time  of  gloom  and  bitterness  against  their  own  monarch,  the 
army  contained  but  a  pitifully  small  number  of  men  who  could  be 
depended  on  to  fight  the  overwhelming  host  of  the  Ming  veterans. 
Taijo,  in  an  address  to  his  followers,  thus  spoke  to  them : 

"  Although  the  order  from  the  king  must  be  obeyed,  yet  the 
attack  upon  the  Ming  soldiers,  with  so  small  an  army  as  ours,  is 
like  casting  an  egg  against  a  rock,  and  no  one  of  the  army  will 
return  alive.  I  do  not  tell  you  this  from  any  fear  of  death,  but 
our  king  is  too  haughty.  He  does  not  heed  our  advice.  He  has 
ordered  out  the  army  suddenly  without  cause,  paying  no  attention 
to  the  suffering  which  wives  and  children  of  the  soldiers  must 
undergo.  This  is  a  thing  I  cannot  bear.  Let  us  go  back  to  the 
capital  and  the  responsibility  shall  fall  on  my  shoulders  alone." 

Thereupon  the  captains  and  soldiers  being  impressed  with  the 
purity  of  their  leader's  motives,  and  admiring  his  courage,  resolved 
to  obey  his  orders  and  not  the  king's.  Arriving  at  Sunto,  he 
promptly  took  measures  to  depose  the  king,  who  was  sent  to 
Kang-wa,  the  island  so  famous  in  modern  as  in  ancient  and  mediae- 
val history. 

The  king's  wrath  was  very  great,  and  he  intrigued  to  avenge 
himself.  His  plot  was  made  known,  by  one  of  his  retainers,  to 
Taijo,  who,  by  a  counter-movement,  put  forth  the  last  radical 
measure  which,  in  Chinese  Asia  means,  for  a  private  person,  disin- 
heritance ;  for  a  king,  deposition  ;  and  for  a  royal  line,  extinction. 
This  act  was  the  removal  of  the  tablets  of  the  king's  ancestors  from 
their  shrine,  and  the  issue  of  an  order  forbidding  further  continu- 
ance of  sacrifice  to  them.  This  Corean  and  Chinese  method  of 
clapping  the  extinguisher  upon  a  whole  dynasty  was  no  sooner  or- 
dered than  duly  executed. 

Ni  Taijo  was  now  made  king,  to  the  great  delight  of  the  peo- 
ple. He  sent  an  embassy  to  Nanking  to  notify  the  Ming  emperor 
of  affairs  in  the  "  outpost  state,"  to  tender  his  loyal  vassalage,  to 
seek  the  imperial  approval  of  his  acts,  and  to  beg  his  investiture 
as  sovereign.  This  was  graciously  granted.  The  ancient  name  of 
Cho-sen  was  revived,  and  at  the  petitioner's  request  conferred  upon 
the  country  by  the  emperor,  who  profited  by  this  occasion  to  en- 
force upon  the  Coreans  his  calendar  and  chronology — the  recep- 
tion of  these  being  in  itself  alone  tantamount  to  a  sufficient  de- 
claration of  fealty.  Friendship  being  now  fully  established  with 
the  Mings,  the  king  of  Cho-sen  sent  a  number  of  youths,  sons  of 
his  nobles,  to  Nanking  to  study  in  the  imperial  Chinese  college. 



The  dynasty  thus  established  is  still  the  reigning  family  in 
Corea,  though  the  direct  line  came  to  an  end  in  1864.  The  Co- 
reans  in  their  treaty  with  Japan,  in  1876,  dated  the  document  ac- 
cording to  the  484th  year  of  Cho-sen,  reckoning  from  the  acces- 
sion of  Ni  Taijo  to  the  throne.  One  of  the  first  acts  of  the  new 
dynasty  was  to  make  a  change  in  the  location  of  the  national 
capital.  The  new  dynasty  made  choice  of  the  city  of  Han  Yang, 

The  Walls  of  Seoul  (from  a  Photograph,    1876). 

situ  ited  on  the  Han  River,  about  fifty  miles  from  its  mouth.  The 
kin<;-  enlarged  the  fortifications,  enclosed  the  city  with  a  wall  of 
masonry  of  great  extent,  extending  over  the  adjacent  hills  and 
valleys.  On  this  wall  was  a  rampart  pierced  with  port-holes  for 
arcl  ters  and  over  the  streams  were  built  arches  of  stone.  He  or- 
gan ized  the  administrative  system  which,  with  slight  modification, 
is  still  in  force  at  the  present  time.  The  city  being  well  situated, 
soon  grew  in  extent,  and  hence  became  the  seoul  or  capital  (pro- 

80  COREA. 

nounced  by  the  Chinese  king,  as  in  Nanking  and  Peking,  and  the 
Japanese  Ho,  as  in  Kioto  and  Tokio).  He  also  re-divided  the 
kingdom  into  eight  do  or  provinces.  This  division  still  maintains. 
The  names,  formed  each  of  two  Chinese  characters  joined  to  that 
of  do  (circuit  or  province),  and  approximate  meanings  are  given 
below.1  With  such  names  of  bright  omen,  "  the  eight  provinces  " 
entered  upon  an  era  of  peace  and  flourishing  prosperity.  The 
people  found  out  that  something  more  than  a  change  of  masters 
was  meant  by  the  removal  of  the  capital  to  a  more  central  situa- 
tion. Vigorous  reforms  were  carried  out,  and  changes  were  made, 
not  only  in  political  administration,  but  in  social  life,  and  even  in 
religion.  In  all  these  the  influence  of  the  China  of  the  Ming  em- 
perors is  most  manifest. 

Buddhism,  which  had  penetrated  into  every  part  of  the  country, 
and  had  become,  in  a  measure,  at  least,  the  religion  of  the  state, 
was  now  set  aside  and  disestablished.  The  Confucian  ethics  and 
the  doctrines  of  the  Chinese  sages  were  not  only  more  diligently 
studied  and  propagated  under  royal  patronage,  but  were  incor- 
porated into  the  religion  of  the  state.  From  the  early  part  of  the 
fifteenth  century,  Confucianism  flourished  until  it  reached  the  point 
of  bigotry  and  intolerance  ;  so  that  when  Christianity  was  discov- 
ered by  the  magistrates  to  be  existing  among  the  people,  it  was 
put  under  the  band  of  extirpation,  and  its  followers  thought 
worthy  of  death. 

1  Beginning  at  the  most  northern  and  eastern,  and  following  the  sea  line 
south  around  up  to  the  northeast,  they  are  : 


1.  Ham-kiung,  or        Kan-kid  do.     Perfect  Mirror,  or  Complete  View  Province. 

2.  Kang-wen,  or          Ko-gen  do.      Bay  Meadow  Province. 

3.  Kiung-sang,  or       Kei-sho  d5.     Respectful  Congratulation  Province. 

4.  Julia,  or  Zen-ra  d5.        Completed  Network  Province. 

5.  Chung-chong,  or     Chiu-sei  do.     Serene  Loyalty  Province. 

6.  Kiung-kei,  or          Kei-ki  do.        The  Capital  Circuit,  or  Home  Province. 

7.  Whang-hai,  or        Ko-kai  do.       Yellow  Sea  Province. 

8.  Ping-an,  or  Hei-an  do        Peace  and  Quiet  Province. 

In  this  table  we  have  given  the  names  in  English  which  approximate  the 
sounds  of  the  Chinese  characters,  with  which  names  of  the  provinces  are  writ- 
ten, and  as  they  are  heard  to-day  in  Cho-sen.  The  modern  Coreans  use  the 
modern  Chinese  sounds  of  the  characters,  while  the  Japanese  cling  to  the  an- 
cient Chinese  pronunciation  of  the  same  characters  as  they  received  them 
through  Hiaksai  and  Shinra,  eleven  or  twelve  centuries  ago.  The  old  pure 
Corean  sounds  were  Teru-ra  tai  for  Zen-ra  do,  Tsiku-shaku  tai  for  Chiu-sei  do, 
Keku-shaku  tai  for  Kei-ki  do,  etc. 



Magistrate  and  Servant. 

82  COREA. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  motive  for  supplanting  Buddh* 
ism,  whether  from  sincere  conviction  of  the  paramount  truth  of 
the  ancient  ethics,  or  a  desire  to  closely  imitate  the  Middle  King- 
dom in  everything,  even  in  religion,  or  to  obtain  easy  -and  great 
wealth  by  confiscating  the  monastery  and  temple  lands,  it  is  certain 
that  the  change  was  sweeping,  radical,  and  thorough.  AH  observ- 
ers testify  that  the  cult  of  Shaka  in  Corea  is  almost  a  shadow.  On 
the  other  hand,  in  many  cities  throughout  the  land,  are  buildings 
and  halls  erected  and  maintained  by  the  government,  in  which  sit 
in  honor  the  statues  of  Confucius  and  his  greatest  disciples. 

One  great  measure  that  tended  to  strengthen  and  make  popu- 
lar the  new  religious  establishment,  to  weaken  the  old  faith,  to 
give  strength  and  unity  to  the  new  government,  to  foster  educa- 
tion and  make  the  Corean  literary  classes  what  they  are  to-day — 
critical  scholars  in  Chinese — was  what  Americans  would  call  "  civil 
service  reform."  Appointment  to  office  on  the  basis  of  merit,  as 
shown  in  the  literary  examinations,  was  made  the  rule.  Modelled 
closely  upon  the  Chinese  system,  three  grades  of  examinations 
were  appointed,  and  three  degrees  settled.  All  candidates  for 
military  or  civil  rank  and  office  must  possess  diplomas,  granted 
by  the  royal  or  provincial  examiners,  before  appointment  could  be 
made  or  salary  begun.  The  system,  which  is  still  in  vogue,  is 
more  fully  described  in  the  chapter  on  education. 

Among  the  changes  in  the  fashion  of  social  life,  introduced 
under  the  Ni  dynasty,  was  the  adoption  of  the  Ming  costume.  To 
the  Chinese  of  to-day  the  Corean  dress  and  coiffure,  as  seen  in 
Peking,  are  subjects  for  curiosity  and  merriment.  The  lack  of  a 
long  queue,  and  the  very  different  cut,  form,  and  general  appear- 
ance of  these  eastern  strangers,  strike  the  eye  of  mandarin  and 
street  laborer  alike,  very  much  as  a  gentleman  in  knee-breeches, 
cocked  hat,  and  peruke,  or  the  peasant  costumes  at  Castle  Garden, 
appear  to  a  New  Yorker,  stepping  from  the  elevated  railway,  on 

Yet  from  the  fourteenth  to  the  seventeenth  century,  the  Chinese 
gentleman  dressed  like  the  Corean  of  to-day,  and  the  mandarin  of 
Canton  or  Nanking  was  as  innocent  of  the  Tartar  hair-tail  as  is  the 
citizen  of  Seoul.  The  Coreans  simply  adhere  to  the  fashions  pre- 
valent during  the  Ming  era.  The  Chinese,  in  the  matter  of  garb, 
however  loath  foreigners  may  be  to  credit  it,  are  more  progressive 
than  their  Corean  neighbors. 

To  the  house  of  Ni  belongs  also  the  greater  honor  of  abolish- 

NEW  CHO-SEN.  83 

ing  at  least  two  cruel  customs  which  had  their  roots  in  supersti- 
tion. Heretofore  the  same  rites  which  were  so  long  in  vogue  in 
Japan,  traces  of  which  were  noticed  even  down  to  the  seventeenth 
century,  held  unchallenged  sway  in  Corea.  Ko-rai-chang,  though 
not  fully  known  in  its  details,  was  the  habit  of  burying  old  men 
alive.  In-chei  was  the  offering  up  of  human  sacrifices,  presumably 
to  the  gods  of  the  mountains  and  the  sea.  Both  of  these  classes 
of  rites,  at  once  superstitious  and  horrible,  were  anciently  very  fre- 
quent ;  nor  was  Buddhism  able  to  utterly  abolish  them.  In  the 
latter  case,  they  choked  the  victims  to  death,  and  then  threw  them 
into  ihe  sea.  The  island  of  Chansan  was  especially  noted  as  the 
place  of  propitiation  to  the  gods  of  the  sea. 

The  first  successors  of  the  founder  of  the  house  of  Ni  held 
great  power,  which  they  used  for  the  good  of  the  people,  and 
hence  enjoyed  great  popularity.  The  first  after  Taijo  reigned  two 
years  from  1398  to  1400.  Hetai-jong,  who  came  after  him,  ruled 
eighteen  years,  and  among  other  benefits  conferred,  established 
the  Sin-mun-ko,  or  box  for  the  reception  of  petitions  addressed 
directly  to  the  king.  Into  this  coffer,  complaints  and  prayers  from 
the  people  could  lawfully  and  easily  be  dropped.  Though  still 
kept  before  the  gate  of  the  royal  palace  in  Seoul,  it  is  stated  that 
access  to  it  is  now  difficult.  It  seems  to  exist  more  in  name  than 
in  fact.  Among  the  first  diplomatic  acts  of  King  Hetai-jong  was 
to  unite  with  the  Chinese  emperor,  in  a  complaint  to  the  mikado 
of  Japan,  against  the  buccaneers,  whom  the  authorities  of  the 
latter  country  were  unable  to  control.  Hence  the  remonstrance 
was  only  partially  successful,  and  the  evil,  which  was  aggravated 
by  Corean  renegades  acting  as  pilots,  grew  beyond  all  bounds. 
These  rascals  made  a  lucrative  living  by  betraying  their  own  coun- 
tryim  n. 

Siei-jong,  who  succeeded  to  the  throne  on  the  death  of  his 
father,  Hetai-jong,  enjoyed  a  long  reign  of  thirty-two  years,  during 
whict  the  fortifications  of  the  capital  were  added  to  and  strength- 
ened. The  Manchius  beyond  the  Ever-white  Mountains  were 
then  beginning  to  rise  in  power,  and  Liao  Tung  was  disturbed 
by  the  raids  of  tribes  from  Mongolia,  which  the  Ming  generals 
were  unable  to  suppress.  When  the  fighting  took  place  within 
fifty  miles  of  her  own  boundary  river,  Cho-sen  became  alarmed, 
and  looked  to  the  defence  of  her  own  frontier  and  capital.  In 
1450,  on  the  death  of  the  king,  who  "  in  time  of  peace  prepared 
for,"  Mun-jong,  his  son,  succeeded  to  royal  power.  As  usual 

84  COREA. 

on  the  accession  of  a  new  sovereign,  a  Chinese  ambassador  was 
despatched  from  Peking,  which  had  been  the  Ming  capital  since 
1614,  to  Seoul,  to  confer  the  imperial  patent  of  investiture.  This 
dignitary,  on  his  return,  wrote  a  book  recounting  his  travels, 
under  the  title  of  "  Memorandum  concerning  the  Affairs  of  Cho- 
sen." According  to  this  writer,  the  military  frontier  of  Corea  at 
that  time  was  at  the  Eastern  Mountain  Barrier,  a  few  miles  north- 
west of  the  present  Border  Gate.  Palladius,  the  Eussian  writer, 
also  states  that,  during  the  Ming  dynasty,  three  grades  of  for- 
tresses were  erected  on  the  territory  between  the  Great  Wall  and 
the  Yalu  Eiver,  "  to  guard  against  the  attacks  of  the  Coreans." 

It  is  more  in  accordance  with  the  facts  to  suppose  that  the  Chi- 
nese erected  these  fortifications  to  guard  against  invasion  from  the 
Manchius  and  other  northern  tribes  that  were  ravaging  Liao  Tung, 
rather  than  against  the  Coreans.  These  defences  did  not  avail  to 
keep  back  the  invasion  which  came  a  generation  or  two  later,  and 
"  the  Corean  frontier,"  which  the  Chinese  traveller,  in  1450,  found 
much  further  west  than  even  the  present  "  wall  of  stakes,"  shows 
that  the  neutral  territory  was  then  already  established,  and  larger 
than  it  now  is.  Of  this  strip  of  rich  forest  and  ginseng  land,  with 
many  well-watered  and  arable  valleys,  once  cultivated  and  popu- 
lous, but  since  the  fifteenth  century  desolate,  we  shall  hear  again. 
In  Chinese  atlases  the  space  is  blank,  with  not  one  village  marked 
where,  until  the  removal  by  the  Chinese  government  of  the  inhabi- 
tants westward,  there  was  a  population  of  300,000  souls.  The  de- 
population of  this  large  area  of  fertile  soil  was  simply  a  Chinese 
measure  of  military  necessity,  which  compelled  her  friendly  ally 
Cho-sen,  for  her  own  safety,  to  post  sentinels  as  far  west  of  her 
boundary  river  as  the  Eastern  Mountain  Barrier,  described  by  the 
imperial  envoy  in  1450. 

The  century  which  saw  America  discovered  in  the  west,  was 
that  of  Japan's  greatest  activity  on  the  sea.  On  every  coast  within 
their  reach,  from  Tartary  to  Tonquin,  and  from  Luzon  to  Siam, 
these  bold  marauders  were  known  and  feared.  The  Chinese 
learned  to  bitterly  regret  the  day  when  the  magnetic  needle,  in- 
vented by  themselves,  got  into  the  hands  of  these  daring  island- 
ers. The  wounded  eagle  that  felt  the  shaft,  which  had  been  feath- 
ered from  his  own  plumes,  was  not  more  to  be  pitied  than  the 
Chinese  people  that  saw  the  Japanese  craft  steering  across  the 
Yellow  Sea  to  ravage  and  ruin  their  cities,  guided  by  the  compass 
bought  in  China.  They  not  only  harried  the  coasts,  but  went  far 



up  the  rivers.     In  1523,  they  landed  even  at  Ningpo,  and  in  the 
fight  the  chief  mandarin  of  the  city  was  killed. 

Yet,  with  the  exception  of  incursions  of  these  pirates,  Cho-sen 
enjoyed  the  sweets  of  peace,  and  two  centuries  slipped  away  in 
Morning  Calm.  The  foreign  vessels  from  Europe  which  first,  in 
1530,  touched  at  the  province  of  Bungo,  in  Southern  Japan,  may 
possibly  have  visited  some  part  of  the  Corean  shores.  Between 

The   Neutral  Tenitory  (from  a  Chinese  Atlas). 

1540  and  1546  four  arrivals  of  "  black  ships  "  from  Portugal,  are 
knovm  to  have  called  at  points  in  Japan.  It  was  from  these  the 
Japa  aese  learned  how  to  make  the  gunpowder  and  firearms  which, 
before  the  close  of  the  century,  were  to  be  used  with  such  deadly 
effect  in  Corea. 

Now  came  back  to  Europe  accounts  of  China  and  Japan — which 
were  found  to  be  the  old  Kathay,  and  Zipangu  of  Polo  and  the  Fran- 

86  COREA. 

ciscans — and  of  "  Coria,"  wliicli  Polo  had  barely  mentioned.  It  was 
from  the  Portuguese,  that  Europe  first  learned  of  this  middle  land 
between  the  mighty  domain  of  the  Mings,  and  the  empire  in  the 
sea.  Stirred  by  the  spirit  of  adventure  and  enterprise,  and  un- 
willing that  the  Iberian  peninsulars  should  gain  all  the  glory,  an 
English  "  Society  for  the  Discovery  of  Unknown  Lands "  was 
formed  in  1555.  A  voyage  was  made  as  far  as  Novaia  Zemlia 
and  Weigatz,  but  neither  Corea  nor  Cathay  was  reached.  Other 
attempts  to  find  a  northeast  passage  to  India  failed,  and  Asia  re- 
mained uncircumnavigated  until  our  own  and  Nordenskold's  day. 
The  other  attempts  to  discover  a  northwest  passage  to  China 
around  the  imaginary  cape,  in  wvhich  North  America  was  supposed 
to  terminate,  and  through  the  equally  fictitious  straits  of  Anian, 
resulted  in  the  discoveries  of  the  Cabots,  and  of  Hudson  and  Fro- 
bisher — of  the  American  continent  from  the  Hudson  River  to 
Greenland,  but  the  way  to  China  lay  still  around  Africa. 

From  Japan,  the  only  possibility  of  danger  during  these  two  cen- 
turies was  likely  to  come.  In  the  north,  west,  and  south,  on  the 
main  land,  hung  the  banners  of  the  Ming  emperors  of  China,  and, 
as  the  tribute  enforced  was  very  light,  the  protection  of  her  great 
neighbor  was  worth  to  Cho-sen  far  more  than  the  presents  she 
gave.  From  China  there  was  nothing  to  fear. 

At  first  the  new  dynasty  sent  ships,  embassies,  and  presents 
regularly  to  Japan,  which  were  duly  received,  yet  not  at  the  mi- 
kado's palace  in  Kioto,  but  at  the  sho- gun's  court  at  Kamakura, 
twelve  miles  from  the  site  of  the  modern  Japanese  capital,  Tokio. 
But  as  the  Ashikaga  family  became  effeminate  in  life,  their  power 
waned,  and  rival  chiefs  started  up  all  over  the  country.  Clan 
fights  and  chronic  intestine  war  became  the  rule  in  Japan.  Only 
small  areas  of  territory  were  governed  from  Kamakura,  while 
the  mikado  became  the  tool  and  prey  of  rival  daimios.  One  of 
these  petty  rulers  held  Tsushima,  and  traded  at  a  settlement  on 
the  Corean  coast  called  Fusan,  by  means  of  which  some  inter- 
course was  kept  up  between  the  two  countries.  The  Japanese 
government  had  always  made  use  of  Tsushima  in  its  communica- 
tions with  the  Coreans,  and  the  agency  at  Fusan  was  composed 
almost  exclusively  of  retainers  of  the  feudal  lord  of  this  island.  The 
journey  by  land  and  sea  from  Seoul  to  Kamakura,  often  consumed 
two  or  three  months,  and  with  civil  wars  inland  and  piracy  on  the 
water,  intercourse  between  the  two  countries  became  less  and  less. 
The  last  embassy  from  Seoul  was  sent  in  1460,  but  after  that, 

NEW  CHO-SEN.  87 

owin^  to  continued  intestine  war,  the  absence  of  the  Coreans  was 
not  noticed  by  the  Ashikagas,  and  as  the  Tsushima  men  purposely 
kept  their  customers  ignorant  of  the  weakness  of  their  rulers  at 
Kamakura  and  Kioto,  lest  the  ancient  vassals  should  cease  to  fear 
their  old  master,  the  Coreans  remained  in  profound  ignorance  of 
the  real  state  of  affairs  in  Japan.  As  they  were  never  summoned, 
so  they  never  came.  Giving  themselves  no  further  anxiety  con- 
cerning the  matter,  they  rejoiced  that  such  disagreeable  duties 
were  no  longer  incumbent  upon  them.  It  is  even  said  in  Corean 
histories  that  their  government  took  the  offensive,  and  under  the 
reigi.  of  the  king  Chung-jong  (1506-1544)  captured  Tsushima  and 
several  other  Japanese  islands,  formerly  tributary  to  Corea.  What- 
ever fraction  of  truth  there  may  be  in  this  assertion,  it  is  certain 
that  Japan  afterward  took  ample  revenge  on  the  score  both  of 
iiegloct  and  of  reprisal. 

So,  under  the  idea  that  peace  was  to  last  forever,  and  the  morn- 
ing (aim  never  to  know  an  evening  storm,  the  nation  relaxed  all 
vigil: mce.  Expecting  no  danger  from  the  east,  the  military  re- 
sour*  3es  were  neglected,  the  army  was  disorganized,  and  the  cas- 
tles were  allowed  to  dilapidate  into  ruin.  The  moats  filled  and 
became  shallow  ditches,  choked  with  vegetation,  the  walls  and 
ramparts  crumbled  piecemeal,  and  the  barracks  stood  roofless. 
As  peace  wore  sweeter  charms,  and  as  war  seemed  less  and  less 
probable,  so  did  all  soldierly  duties  become  more  and  more  irk- 
some ;.  The  militia  system  was  changed  for  the  worse.  The  en- 
rollel  men,  instead  of  being  called  out  for  muster  at  assigned 
camps,  and  trained  to  field  duty  and  the  actual  evolutions  of  war, 
were  allowed  to  assemble  at  local  meetings  to  perform  only  holi- 
day movements.  The  muster  rolls  were  full  of  thousands  of 
names,  but  off  paper  the  army  of  Corea  was  a  phantom.  The 
people,  dismissing  all  thought  of  possibility  of  war,  gave  them- 
selves no  concern,  leaving  the  matter  to  the  army  officials,  who 
drew  pay  as  though  in  actual  war.  They,  in  turn,  devoted  them- 
selvc-s  to  dissipation,  carousing,  and  sensual  indulgence.  It  was 
whil.3  the  country  was  in  such  a  condition  that  the  summons  of 
Japan's  greatest  conqueror  came  to  them  and  the  Coreans  learned, 
for  the  first  time,  of  the  fall  of  Ashikaga,  and  the  temper  of  their 
new  master. 



CHINA  and  Japan  are  to  each  other  as  England  and  the  Unitetl 
States.  The  staid  Chinaman  looks  at  the  lively  Japanese  with 
feelings  similar  to  those  of  John  Bull  to  his  American  "  cousin." 
Though  as  radically  different  in  blood,  language,  and  tempera- 
ment as  are  the  Germans  and  French,  they  are  enough  alike  to 
find  food  for  mutual  jealousy.  They  discover  ground  for  irritation 
in  causes,  which,  between  nations  more  distant  from  eachx>ther, 
would  stir  up  no  feeling  whatever/  China  considers  Japan  a 
young,  vain,  and  boasting  stripling^- whose  attitude  ought  ever 
to  be  that  of  the  pupil  to  the  teacher,  or  the  child  to  the  father. 
Japan,  on  the  contrary,  considering  China  as  an  old  fogy,  far  be- 
hind the  age,  decayed  in  constitution  and  fortune  alike,  and  more 
than  ready,  for  the  grave,  resents  all  dictation  or  assumption  of 
superiority.)  Even  before  their  adoption  of  the  forces  of  occiden- 
tal civilization  in  this  nineteenth  century,  something  of  this 
haughty  contempt  for  China  influenced  the  Japanese  mind.  Japan 
ever  refused  to  become  vassal  or  tributary  to  China,  and  the  mem- 
ory of  one  of  her  military  usurpers,  who  accepted  the  honorary 
title  of  Nihon-O,  or  King  of  Japan,  from  the  Chinese  Emperor,  is  to 
this  day  loaded  with  increasing  execration.  It  has  ever  been  the 
practice  of  the  Japanese  court  and  people  cheerfully  to  heap  upon 
their  mikado  all  the  honors,  titles,  poetical  and  divine  appellations 
which  belong  also  to  the  Chinese  emperor. 

To  conquer  or  humble  their  mighty  neighbor,  to  cross  tlieir 
slender  swords  of  divine  temper  with  the  clumsy  blades  of  the 
continental  braves,  has  been  the  ambition  of  more  than  one  Ja- 
panese captain.  But  Hideyoshi  alone  is  the  one  hero  in  Japanese 
annals  who  actually  made  the  attempt. 

As  the  Mongol  conquerors  issuing  from  China  had  usad_C£tc£a 
as  their  point  of  departure  to  invade  Japan,  so  Hideyoshi  resolved 
to  make  the  peninsula  the  road  for  his  armies  into  China. .  After 


two  centuries  of  anarchy  in  Japan,  he  followed  up  the  work  which 
Nobunaga  had  begun  until  the  proudest  daimio  had  felt  the 
weight  of  his  arm,  and  the  empire  was  at  peace. 
-^  Yet,  although  receiving  homage  and  congratulations  from  his 
feudal  vassals,  once  proud  princes,  Hideyoshi  was  irritated  that 
Cho  sen,  which  he,  with  all  Japanese,  held  to  be  a  tributary  prov- 
ince, failed  to  send  like  greetings.  Since,  to  the  Ashikagas,  she 
had  despatched  tribute  and  embassies,  he  was  incensed  that  similar 
honors  were  not  awarded  to  him,  though,  for  over  a  century,  all 
official  relations  between  the  two  countries  had  ceased.  <^ 

On  the  31st  day  of  July,  1585,  Hideyoshi  was  made  Kuam- 
bafci,  or  Regent,  and  to  celebrate  his  elevation  to  this,  the  highest 
office  to  which  a  subject  of  the  mikado's  could  aspire,  he  shortly 
afterward  gave  a  great  feast  in  Kioto,  and  proclaimed  holiday 
throughout  the  empire.  This  feast  was  graced  by  the  presence 
of  liis  highest  feudatories,  lords,  and  captains,  court  nobles  and 
palace  ladies  in  their  richest  robes.  Among  others  was  one  Yasu- 
hiro,  a  retainer  of  the  lord  of  Tsushima.  Hideyoshi's  memory 
had  been  refreshed  by  his  having  had  read  to  him,  from  the  an- 
cient chronicles,  the  account  of  Jingu  Kogo's  conquests  in  the 
second  century.  He  announced  to  his  captains  that,  though  Cho- 
sen was  from  ancient  times  tributary  to  Japan,  yet  of  late  years 
her  envoys  had  failed  to  make  visits  or  to  send  tribute.  He  then 
appointed  Yasuhiro  to  proceed  to  Seoul,  and  remind  the  king  and 
court  of  their  duty. 

The  Japanese  envoy  was  a  bluff  old  campaigner,  very  tall,  and 
of  commanding  mien.  His  hair  and  beard  had  long  since  turned 
white  under  years  and  the  hardships  of  war.  His  conduct  was 
that,  of  a  man  accustomed  to  ccmmand  and  to  instant  obedience, 
and  to  expect  victory  more  by  brute  courage  than  by  address. 
On  his  journey  to  Seoul  he  demanded  the  best  rooms  in  the  ho- 
tels and  annoyed  even  the  people  of  rank  and  importance  with 
haughty  and  strange  questions.  He  even  laughed  at  and  made 
sarcastic  remarks  about  the  soldiers  and  their  weapons.  This 
coniuct,  so  different  from  that  of  previous  envoys,  greatly  sur- 
prised the  Corean  officials.  Heretofore,  when  a  Japanese  officer 
came  to  Fusan,  native  troops  escorted  him  from  Fusan  to  Seoul, 
overawing  him  by  their  fierceness  and  insolence.  Yasuhiro,  accus- 
tomed to  constant  war  under  Hideyoshi's  gourd-banner,  rode 
calmly  on  his  horse,  and,  amid  the  lines  of  lances  drawn  up  as  a 
gujird  of  honor,  spoke  to  his  followers  in  a  loud  voice,  telling  them 

90  COREA. 

to  watch  the  escort  and  note  any  incivility.  In  a  certain  village 
he  joked  with  a  Corean  soldier  about  his  spear,  saying,  with  a  pun, 
that  it  was  too  short  and  unfit  for  use.  At  this,  all  the  Japanese 
laughed  out  loud.  The  Coreans  could  not  understand  the  lan- 
guage, but  hearing  the  laugh  were  angry  and  surprised  at  such 
boldness.  At  another  town  he  insulted  an  aged  official  who  was 
entertaining  him,  by  remarking  to  his  own  men  that  his  hair  and 
that  of  the  Japanese  grew  gray  by  years,  or  by  war  and  manly 
hardships  ;  "  but  what,"  cried  he,  "  has  turned  this  man's  hair 
gray  who  has  lived  all  his  life  amid  music  and  dancing  ?  "  This 
sarcastic  fling,  at  premature  and  sensual  old  age,  stung  the  official 
so  that  he  became  speechless  with  rage.  At  the  capital,  creden- 
tials were  presented  and  a  feast  given,  at  which  female  musicians 
sang  and  wine  flowed.  During  the  banquet,  when  all  were  well 
drunk,  the  old  hero  pulled  out  a  gourd  full  of  pepper  seeds  and 
began  to  hand  them  around.  The  singing-girls  and  servants 
grabbed  them,  and  a  disgraceful  scuffle  began.  This  was  what 
Yasuhiro  wanted.  Highly  disgusted  at  their  greedy  behavior,  he 
returned  to  his  quarters  and  poured  out  a  tirade  of  abuse  about 
the  manners  of  the  people,  which  his  Corean  interpreter  duly  re- 
tailed to  his  superiors.  Yasuhiro  made  up  his  mind  that  the 
country  was  in  no  way  prepared  for  invasion  ;  the  martial  spirit 
of  the  people  was  very  low,  and  the  habits  of  dissipation  and  pro- 
fligacy among  them  had  sapped  the  vigor  of  the  men. 

To  the  offensive  conduct  of  the  envoy  was  added  the  irritation 
produced  by  the  language  of  Hideyoshi's  summons ;  for  in  his  let- 
ter he  had  used  the  imperial  form  of  address,  "  we,"  the  plural  of 
majesty.  Yasuhiro  asked  for  a  reply  to  these  letters,  that  he  might 
return  speedily  to  Japan.  There  was  none  given  him,  and  the  Co- 
reans, pleading  the  flimsy  excuse  of  the  difficulty  of  the  voyage, 
refused  to  send  an  embassy  to  Japan. 

Hideyoshi  was  very  angry  at  the  utter  failure  of  Yasuhiro's 
mission.  He  argued  that  for  an  envoy  to  be  content  with  such  an 
answer  was  sure  proof  that  he  favored  the  Coreans.  Some  of 
Yasuhiro's  ancestors,  being  daimios  of  Tsushima,  had  served  as 
envoys  to  Cho-sen,  and  had  enjoyed  a  monopoly  of  the  lucrative 
commerce,  and  even  held  office  under  the  Corean  government. 
Reflecting  on  these  things,  Hideyoshi  commanded  Yasuhiro  and 
all  his  family  to  be  put  to  death. 

He  then  despatched  a  second  envoy,  named  Yoshitoshi,  himself 
the  daimio  of  Tsu  Island,  who  took  with  him  a  favorite  retainer, 


and  i.  priest,  named  Gensho,  as  his  secretary.  They  reached  Seoul 
in  sa::ety,  and,  after  the  formal  banquet,  demanded  the  despatch 
of  ar  envoy  to  Japan.  The  Corean  dignitaries  did  not  reply  at 
once,  but  unofficially  sent  word,  through  the  landlord  of  the  hotel, 
that  "hey  would  be  glad  to  agree  to  the  demand  if  the  Japanese 
would  send  back  the  renegades  who  piloted  the  Japanese  pirates 
in  their  raids  upon  the  Corean  coasts.  Thereupon,  Yoshitoshi 
despatched  one  of  his  suite  to  Japan.  With  amazing  promptness 
he  collected  the  outlaws,  fourteen  in  number,  and  produced  them 
in  S(ioul.  These  traitors,  after  confessing  their  crime,  were  led 
out  by  the  executioners  and  their  heads  knocked  off.  Meanwhile, 
havir  g  tranquillized  "all  under  Heaven"  (Japan),  even  to  Yezo  and 
the  Amos,  and  finding  nothing  "  within  the  four  seas  "  worth  cap- 
turing, Hideyoshi  cast  his  eyes  southward  to  the  little  kingdom 
well  named  Riu  Kiu,  or  the  Sleepy  Dragon  without  horns.  The 
peop.e  of  these  islands,  called  Loo  Choo,  on  old  maps,  are  true 
Japanese  in  origin,  language,  and  dynasty.  They  speak  a  dialect 
kindred  to  that  of  Satsuma,  and  their  first  historical  ruler  was 
Sunten,  a  descendant  of  Tametomo,  who  fled  from  Japan  in  the 
twelfth  century.  Of  the  population  of  120,000  people,  one-tenth 
were  of  the  official  class,  who  lived  from  the  public  granaries. 
Saving  all  expense  in  war  equipment,  and  warding  off  danger  from 
the  two  great  powers  between  which  they  lay,  they  had  kept  the 
good  will  of  either  by  making  their  country  act  the  part  of  the  ass 
whicji  crouches  down  between  two  burdens.  They  made  presents 
to  both,  acknowledging  Japan  as  their  father,  and  China  as  their 
mother.  From  early  times  they  had  sent  tribute-laden  junks  to 
"Ningpo,  and  had  introduced  the  Chinese  classics,  and  social  and 
political  customs.  When  the  Ming  dynasty  came  into  power,  the 
Chinese  monarch  bestowed  on  the  Prince  of  Kiu  Kiu  a  silver  seal, 
and  it  name  for  his  country,  which  meant  "  hanging  balls,"  a  refer- 
ence to  the  fact  that  their  island  chain  hung  like  a  string  of  tas- 
sels on  the  skirt  of  China.  Another  of  their  ancient  native 
namc-s  was  Okinawa,  or  "  long  rope,"  which  stretches  as  a  cable 
between  Japan  and  Formosa.  Sugar  and  rice  are  the  chief  pro- 
ducts. Hideyoshi,  wishing  to  possess  this  group  of  isles  as  an  ally 
agaii  st  China,  and  acting  on  the  principle  of  baiting  with  a  sprat 
in  order  to  catch  a  mackerel,  sent  word  to  Riu  Kiu  to  pay  tribute 
hereafter  only  to  him. 

The  young  king,  fearing  the  wrath  of  the  mighty  lord  of  Nip- 
pon, sent  a  priest  as  his  envoy,  and  a  vessel  laden  with  tribute 

92  COREA. 

offerings.  Arriving  in  the  presence  of  the  august  parvenu,  the 
priest  found  himself  most  graciously  received.  Hideyoshi  entered 
into  a  personal  conversation  with  the  bonze,  and  set  forth  the 
benefits  of  Eiu  Kiu's  adherence  to  Japan  alone,  and  her  ceasing  to 
send  tribute  to  China.  At  the  same  time  he  gave  the  priest 
clearly  to  understand  that,  willing  or  unwilling,  the  little  kingdom 
was  to  be  annexed  to  the  mikado's  empire.  When  the  priest  re- 
turned to  Eiu  Kiu  and  gave  the  information  to  the  king,  the  latter 
immediately  despatched  a  vessel  to  China  to  inform  the.  govern- 
ment of  the  designs  of  Japan. 

Meanwhile,  the  court  at  Seoul,  highly  gratified  with  the  action 
of  the  Japanese  government  in  the  matter  of  the  renegade  pilots, 
gave  a  banquet  to  the  embassy.  Yoshitoshi  had  audience  of  the 
king,  who  presented  him  with  a  horse  from  his  own  stables.  An 
embassy  was  chosen  which  left  Seoul,  in  company  with  Yoshitoshi 
and  his  party,  and  their  musicians  and  servants,  in  April,  1590, 
and,  after  a  journey  and  voyage  of  three  months,  arrived  at  Kioto 
during  the  summer  of  1590.  At  this  time  Hideyoshi  was  absent 
in  Eastern  Japan,  not  far  from  the  modern  city  of  Tokio,  besieging 
Odawara  Castle  and  reducing  "  the  second  Hojo  "  family  to  sub- 
mission. Arriving  at  Kioto  in  the  autumn,  he  postponed  audience 
with  the  Coreans  in  order  to  gain  time  for  war  preparations,  for 
his  heart  was  set  on  conquests  beyond  sea. 

Finally,  after  five  months  had  passed,  they  were  accorded  an 
interview.  They  were  allowed  to  ride  in  palanquins  under  the 
gateway  of  the  palace  without  dismounting — a  mark  of  deference 
to  their  high  rank — all  except  nobles  of  highest  grade  being  com- 
pelled to  get  out  and  walk.  As  usual,  their  band  of  musicians  ac- 
companied them. 

They  report  Hideyoshi  as  a  man  of  low  appearance,  but  with 
eyes  that  shot  fire  through  their  souls.  All  bowed  before  him, 
but  his  conduct  in  general  was  of  a  very  undignified  character. 
This  did  not  raise  him  in  the  estimation  of  his  guests,  who  had 
already  discovered  his  true  position,  which  was  that  of  a  subject 
of  the  mikado,  whose  use  of  the  imperial  "  we  "  in  his  letters  was, 
in  their  eyes,  a  preposterous  assumption  of  authority.  They  de- 
I  livered  the  king's  letter,  which  was  addressed  to  Hideyoshi  on 
I  terms  of  an  equal  as  a  Koku  O  (king  of  a  nation,  in  distinction 
from  the  title  of  Whang  Ti,  by  which  title  the  Heavenly  Euler,  or 
Emperor — the  Mikado  of  Japan,  or  the  Emperor  of  China — is 
addressed).  The  letter  contained  the  usual  commonplaces  of 


friendly  greeting,  the  names  of  the  envoys,  and  a  reference  to  the 
list  of  accompanying  presents. 

Tl.e  presents — spoken  of  in  the  usual  terms  of  Oriental  mock 
modesty — consisted  of  two  ponies  and  fifteen  falcons,  with  harness 
for  bi:d  and  beast,  rolls  of  silk,  precious  drugs,  ink,  paper,  pens, 
and  bventy  magnificent  tiger-skins.  The  interview  over,  Hideyoshi 
wishe  1  the  envoys  to  go  home  at  once.  This  they  declined  to  do, 
but,  leaving  Kioto,  waited  at  the  port  of  Sakai.  A  letter  to  the 
king  finally  reached  them,  but  couched  in  so  insolent  a  tone  that 
the  ambassadors  sent  it  back  several  times  to  be  purged.  Even  in 
its  improved  form  it  was  the  blustering  threat  of  a  Japanese  bully. 
All  tins  consumed  time,  which  was  just  what  Hideyoshi  wished. 

Some  years  before  this,  some  Portuguese  trading  ships  had 
lande  1  at  the  island  of  Tane,  off  the  south  of  Japan.  The  Japan- 
ese, f  )r  the  first  time,  saw  Europeans  and  heard  their  unintelli- 
gible language.  At  first  all  attempts  to  understand  them  were  in 
vain.  A  Chinese  ship  happened  to  arrive  about  the  same  time,  on 
which  were  some  sailors  who  knew  a  little  Portuguese,  and  thus 
communications  were  held.  The  foreigners,  being  handsomely 
treated,  gave  their  hosts  some  firearms,  probably  pistols,  taught 
their  use,  and  how  to  make  powder.  These  "  queer  things,  able 
to  vcmit  thunder  and  lightning,  and  emitting  an  awful  smell," 
were  presented  to  Shimadzu,  the  daimio  of  Satsuma,  who  gave 
them  to  Hideyoshi.  Among  the  presents,  made  in  return  to  Cho- 
sen, -yere  several  of  these  new  weapons  made  by  Japanese.  They 
were  most  probably  sent  as  a  hint,  like  that  of  the  Pequot's  offer- 
ing c  f  the  arrows  wrapped  in  snake-skin.  With  them  were  phea- 
sants, stands  of  swords  and  spears,  books,  rolls  of  paper,  and  four 
hundred  gold  koban  (a  coin  worth  about  $5.00). 

With  the  returning  embassy,  Hideyoshi  sent  the  priest  and  a 
form  3r  colleague  of  Yoshitoshi  to  Seoul.  They  were  instructed  to 
ask  i  be  king  to  assist  Hideyoshi  to  renew  peaceful  relations  be- 
twee  i  Japan  and  China.  These,  owing  to  the  long  continued 
piratical  invasions  from  Japan,  during  the  anarchy  of  the  Ashi- 
kaga  had  been  suspended  for  some  years  past. 

The  peaceful  influences  of  Christianity's  teachings  now  came 
beta  een  these  two  pagan  nations,  in  the  mind  and  person  of  Yoshi- 
tosh  ,  who  had  professed  the  faith  of  Jesus  as  taught  by  the JRoman 
Catbolic  missionaries  from  Portugal,  then  in  Japan.  Be  this  as  it 
may  Yoshitoshi,  who  had  been  in  Seoul,  and  lived  in  Tsushima, 
T  well  acquainted  with  the  military  resources  of  the  three 

94  COREA. 

countries,  knew  that  war  would  result  in  ruin  to  Cho-sen,  while, 
in  measuring  their  swords  with  China,  the  Japanese  were  at  fear- 
ful odds.  Animated  by  a  desire  to  prevent  bloodshed,  he  resolved 
to  mediate  with  the  olive  branch.  He  started  on  an  independent 
mission,  at  his  own  cost,  to  persuade  the  Coreans  to  use  their  good 
offices  at  mediation  between  Japan  and  China,  and  thus  prevent 
war.  Arriving  at  Fusan,  in  1591,  he  forwarded  his  petition  to 
Seoul,  and  waited  in  port  ten  days  in  hopes  of  the  answer  he  de- 
sired. But  all  was  in  vain.  He  received  only  a  letter  containing 
a  defiant  reply  to  his  master's  bullying  letter.  In  sadness  he  re- 
turned to  Kioto,  and  reported  his  ill-success.  Surprised  and  en- 
raged at  the  indifference  of  the  Coreans,  Hideyoshi  pushed  on  his 
war  preparations  with  new  vigor.  He  resolved  to  test  to  its 
utmost  the  military  strength  of  Japan,  in  order  to  humble  China 
as  well  as  her  vassal.  Accustomed  to  victory  under  the  gourd- 
banner  in  almost  every  battle  during  the  long  series  of  intestine 
wars  now  ended,  an  army  of  seasoned  veterans  heard  joyfully  the 
order  to  prepare  for  a  campaign  beyond  sea. 

Hideyoshi,  during  this  year,  nominally  resigned  the  office  of 
Kuambaku,  in  favor  of  his  son,  and,  according  to  usage,  took  the 
title  of  Taiko,  by  which  name  (Taiko  Sanaa)  he  is  popularly  known, 
and  by  which  we  shall  refer  to  him.  Among  the  Coreans,  even  of 
to-day,  he  is  remembered  by  the  title  which  still  inspires  their 
admiration  and  terror — Kuambaku.  Chinese  writers  give  a  gro- 
tesque account  of  Hideyoshi,  one  of  whose  many  names  they  read 
as  Ping-syew-kye.  They  call  him  "  the  man  under  a  tree,"  in  re- 
ference to  his  early  nickname  of  Kinomoto.  He  is  also  dubbed 
"King  of  Taiko."  The  Jesuit  missionaries  speak  of  him  in  their 
letters  as  Quabacundono  (His  Lordship  the  Kuambaku),  or  by  one 
of  his  personal  names,  Faxiba  (Hashiba). 

The  Coreans  were  now  in  a  strait.  Though  under  the  protec- 
torate of  China,  they  had  been  negotiating  with  a  foreign  power. 
How  would  China  like  this  ?  Should  they  keep  the  entire  matter 
secret,  or  should  they  inform  their  suzerain  of  the  intended  inva- 
sion of  China  ?  They  finally  resolved  upon  the  latter  course,  and 
despatched  a  courier  to  Peking.  About  the  same  time  the  mes- 
senger from  Kiu  Kiu  had  landed,  and  was  on  his  way  with  the 
same  tidings.  The  Eiukiuan  reached  Peking  first,  and  the  Corean 
arrived  only  to  confirm  the  news.  Yet,  in  spite  of  such  overwhelm- 
ing evidence  of  the  designs  of  Japan,  the  colossal  "  tortoise  "  could, 
at  first,  scarce  believe  "  the  bee  "  would  attempt  to  sting. 



FOR  the  pictures  of  camps,  fleets,  the  details  of  armory  and 
commissariat,  and  all  the  pomp  and  circumstance  that  make  up 
the  bright  side  of  Japanese  war  preparations  in  1591  and  1592,  we 
are  mdebted,  not  only  to  the  Japanese  writers,  but  to  those  eye 
witnesses  and  excellent  "war  correspondents,"  the  Portuguese 
missionaries  then  in  Kiushiu,  and  especially  to  Friar  Louis  Frois. 
He  tells  us  of  the  amplitude,  vigor,  and  brilliancy  of  Taiko's  meas- 
ures for  invasion,  and  adds  that  the  expenses  therefor  greatly 
burdened  the  "  ethniques  "  or  daimios  who  had  to  pay  the  cost. 
Those  feudatories,  whose  domain  bordered  the  sea,  had  to  furnish 
a  mighty  fleet  of  junks,  while  to  man  them,  the  quota  of  every 
hundred  houses  of  the  fishing  population  was  ten  sailors. 

The  land  and  naval  forces  assembled  at  Nagoya,  in  Hizen,  now 
calle  d  Karatsu,  and  famous  for  being  the  chief  place  for  the  manu- 
facture of  Hizen  porcelain.  Here  a  superb  castle  was  built,  while 
hugo  inns  or  resting-places  were  erected  all  along  the  road  from 
Kioto.  The  armies  gathered  here  during  the  war  numbered  500,- 
000  men  ;  of  whom  150,000  formed  the  army  of  invasion,  60,000 
the  first  reserve,  while  100,000  were  set  apart  as  Taiko's  body- 
guard ;  the  remainder  were  sailors,  servants,  camp  followers,  etc. 

Beside  the  old  veterans  were  new  levies  of  young  soldiers,  and 
a  corps  of  matchlock  men,  who  afterward  did  good  execution 
among  the  Coreans.  The  possession  of  this  new  and  terrible 
weapon  gave  the  invaders  a  mighty  advantage  over  their  enemies. 
Though  firearms  had  been  known  and  manufactured  in  Japan  for 
a  half  century,  this  was  the  first  time  they  were  used  against  for- 
eigi  enemies,  or  on  a  large  scale.  Taiko  also  endeavored  to  hire 
or  buy  from  the  Portuguese  two  ships  of  war,  so  as  to  use  their 
artillery  ;  but  in  this  he  failed,  and  the  troops  were  despatched  in 
native-built  vessels.  These  made  a  gallant  display  as  they  crowded 
together  by  hundreds.  At  the  signal,  given  by  the  firing  of  can- 

96  COREA. 

non,  the  immense  fleet  hoisted  sail  and,  under  a  fresh  breeze,  bore 
away  to  the  west. 

Their  swelling  sails,  made  of  long  sections  of  canvass  laced 
together,  vertically,  at  their  edges,  from  stem  to  boom  (thus  dif- 
fering from  the  Chinese,  which  are  laced  horizontally),  were  in- 
scribed with  immense  crests  and  the  heraldic  devices  of  feudal- 
ism, many  feet  in  diameter.  Near  the  top  were  cross-wise  bands 
or  stripes  of  black.  The  junks  of  Satsuma  could  be  distinguished 
by  the  white  cross  in  a  circle  ;  those  of  Higo  by  the  broad-banded 
ring.  On  one  were  two  crossed  arrow-feathers,  on  others  the 
chess-board,  the  "  cash  "  coin  and  palm-leaves,  the  butterfly,  the 
cloisonne  symbol,  the  sun,  the  fan,  etc.  Innumerable  banners, 
gay  with  armorial  designs  or  inscribed  with  Buddhist  texts,  hung 
on  their  staves  or  fluttered  gaily  as  flags  and  streamers  from  the 
mastheads.  Stuck  into  the  back  of  many  of  the  distinguished 
veterans,  or  officers,  were  the  sashi-mono,  or  bannerets.  Kato 
Kiyomasa,  being  a  strict  Buddhist,  had  for  the  distinctive  blazon 
of  his  back-pennant,  and  on  the  banners  of  his  division,  the  prayer 
and  legend  of  his  sect,  the  Nichirenites,  "  NAMU  MIYO  HO  RENGE  KIO" 
(Glory  to  the  Holy  Lotus,  or  Glory  to  the  salvation-bringing  book 
of  the  Holy  Law  of  Buddha).  On  the  forward  deck  were  ranged 
heavy  shields  of  timber  for  the  protection  of  the  archers.  These, 
at  close  quarters,  were  to  be  let  down  and  used  as  boarding 
planks,  when  the  sword,  pike,  and  grappling-hook  came  into  play. 
Huge  tassels,  dangling  from  the  prows  like  the  manes  of  horses, 
tossed  up  and  down  as  the  ships  rode  over  the  waves.  Each  junk 
had  a  huge  eye  painted  at  the  prow,  to  look  out  and  find  the  path  in 
the  sea.  With  the  squadron  followed  hundreds  of  junks,  laden  with 
salt  meat,  rice-wine,  dried  fish,  and  rice  and  beans,  which  formed 
the  staple  of  the  invaders  commissariat  for  man  and  horse.  Trans- 
port junks,  with  cargoes  of  flints,  arrows,  ball,  powder,  wax  can- 
dles, ship  and  camp  stores,  "  not  forgetting  a  single  thing,"  sailed 
soon  after,  as  well  as  the  craft  containing  horses  for  the  cavalry. 

Taiko  did  not  go  to  Corea  himself,  being  dissuaded  by  his 
aged  mother.  The  court  also  wished  no  weaker  hand  than  his  to 
hold  the  reins  of  government  while  the  army  was  on  foreign 
shores.  The  men  to  whom  he  entrusted  the  leadership  of  the  ex- 
pedition, were  Konishi  Yukinaga  and  Kato  Kiyomasa.  To  the 
former,  he  presented  a  fine  war  horse,  telling  him  to  "  gallop  over 
the  bearded  savages  "  with  it,  while  to  the  latter  he  gave  a  battle- 
flag.  Konishi  was  an  impetuous  young  man,  only  twenty-three  years 


of  ag«.  He  was  a  favorite  of.  Taiko,  and  sprung  like  the  latter  from 
the  common  people,  being  the  son  of  a  medicine  dealer.  His 
crest  or  banner  was  a  huge,  stuffed,  white  paper  bag,  such  as  drug- 
gists n  Japan  use  as  a  shop  sign.  In  this  he  followed  the  example 
of  his  august  chief,  who,  despising  the  brocade  banners  of  the  im- 
perial generals,  stuck  a  gourd  on  a  pole  for  his  colors.  For  every 
victory  he  added  another  gourd,  until  his  immense  cluster  con- 
tainec  as  many  proofs  of  victory  as  there  are  bamboo  sticks  in  an 
umbrella.  The  "  gourd-banner  "  became  the  emblem  of  infallible 
victory.  Konishi  also  imitated  his  master  in  his  tactics — impetu- 
ous attack  and  close  following  up  of  victory. 

Konishi  was  a  Christian,  an  ardent  convert  to  the  faith  of  the 
Jesuit  fathers,  by  whom  he  had  been  baptized  in  1584.  Tn  their 
writings,  they  call  him  "  Don  Austin  " — a  contraction  of  Augustine. 
Other  Christian  lords  or  daimios,  who  personally  led  their  troops 
in  the  field  with  Konishi,  were  Arima,  Omura,  Amakusa,  Bungo, 
and  Tsushima.  The  personal  name  of  the  latter,  a  former  envoy  to 
Corea.  of  whom  we  have  read  before,  was  Yoshitoshi.  He  was  the 
son-in-law  of  Konishi.  Kuroda,  as  Mr.  Ernest  Satow  has  shown, 
is  the  "  Kondera  "  of  the  Jesuit  writers. 

Kato  Kiyomasa  was  a  noble,  whose  castle  seat  was  at  Kumamoto 
in  Hio  o.  From  his  youth  he  had  been  trained  to  war,  and  had  a 
reputation  for  fierce  bravery.  It  is  said  that  Kato  suggested  to 
Taiko  the  plan  of  invading  Corea.  His  crest  was  a  broad-banded 
circle,  and  his  favorite  weapon  was  a  long  lance  with  but  one 
cross-blade  instead  of  two.  Kato  is  the  "Toronosqui"  of  the 
Jesuit  fathers,  who  never  weary  of  loading  his  memory  with 
obloquy.  This  "  vir  ter  execrandus  "  was  a  fierce  Buddhist  and  a 
bitter  foe  to  Christianity.  A  large  number  of  fresh  autographic 
writings  had  been  made  by  the  bonzes  in  the  monasteries  ex- 
pressly for  Kato's  division.  The  silk  pennon,  said  to  have  been 
Inscribed  by  Nichiren  himself  and  worn  by  Kato  during  the  in- 
vasion, is  now  in  Tokio,  owned  by  Katsu  Awa,  and  is  six  centuries 

With  such  elements  at  work  between  the  two  commanders, 
bitterness  of  religious  rivalry,  personal  emulation,  the  desire  to 
earn  glory  each  for  himself  alone,  the  contempt  of  an  old  veteran 
for  a  young  aspirant,  harmony  and  unity  of  plan  were  not  to  be 
looked  for.  Nevertheless,  the  personal  qualities  of  each  general 
were  s  ich  as  to  inspire  his  own  troops  with  the  highest  enthu- 
siasm, and  the  army  sailed  away  fully  confident  of  victory. 

98  COREA. 

What  were  the  objects  of  Taiko  in  making  this  war?  Evi- 
dently his  original  thought  was  to  invade  and  humble  China. 
Then  followed  the  determination  to  conquer  Cho-sen.  Ambition 
may  have  led  him  to  rival  Ojin  Tenno,  who,  in  his  mother's  womb, 
•made  the  conquest  of  Shinra,  and,  as  the  deified  Hachiman, 
'became  the  Japanese  god  of  war.  Lastly,  the  Jesuit  fathers  saw  in 
this  expedition  a  plot  to  kill  off  the  Christian  leaders  in  a  foreign 
land,  and  thus  extirpate  Christianity  in  Japan.  To  ship  the 
Christians  off  to  a  foreign  soil  to  die  of  wounds  or  disease,  was 
easier  than  to  massacre  them.  They  make  Taiko  a  David,  and  his 
best  generals  Uriahs — though  Coligny,  slain  twenty  years  before, 
might  have  served  for  a  more  modern  illustration. 

Certain  it  is  that  it  was  during  the  absence  of  the  Christian 
leaders  that  the  severest  persecutions  at  home  took  place.  It  is 
probable,  also,  that  his  jealousy  of  the  success  and  consequent 
popularity  of  the  Christian  generals  created  irresolution  in  Taiko's 
mind,  leading  him  to  neglect  the  proper  support  of  the  expedition 
and  thus  to  bring  about  a  gigantic  failure. 

Finally,  we  must  mention  the  theory  of  a  Japanese  friend,  Mr. 
Egi  Takato,  who  held  that  Taiko,  having  whole  armies  of  unem- 
ployed warriors,  all  jealous  of  each  other,  was  compelled,  in  order 
to  ensure  peace  in  Japan,  to  find  employment  for  their  swords. 
His  idea  was  to  send  them  on  this  distant  "  frontier  service,"  and 
give  them  such  a  taste  of  home-sickness  that  peaceful  life  in  Japan 
would  be  a  desideratum  ever  afterward. 

The  Coreans,  by  their  own  acknowledgment,  were  poorly  pre- 
pared for  a  war  with  the  finest  soldiers  in  Asia,  as  the  Japanese 
of  the  sixteenth  century  certainly  were.  Nor  had  they  any  leader 
of  ability  to  direct  their  efforts.  Their  king,  Sien-jo,  the  fifteenth 
of  the  house  of  Ni,  who  had  already  reigned  twenty-six  years,  was 
a  man  of  no  personal  importance,  addicted  entirely  to  his  own 
pleasures,  a  drunkard,  and  a  debauchee.  Though  the  royal  pro- 
clamation was  speedily  issued,  calling  on  the  people  to  fortify 
their  cities,  to  rebuild  the  dilapidated  castles,  and  to  dig  out  the 
moats,  long  since  choked  by  mud  and  vegetation,  the  people  re- 
sponded so  slowly,  that  few  of  the  fortresses  were  found  in  order 
when  their  enemies  laid  siege  to  them.  Weapons  were  plentiful, 
but  there  were  no  firearms,  save  those  presented  as  curiosities  by 
the  Taiko  to  the  king.  There  was  little  or  no  military  organiza- 
tion, except  on  paper,  while  the  naval  defences  were  in  a  sad 
plight.  However,  they  began  to  enroll  and  drill,  to  lay  up  stores 



Map  of  the  Japanese  Military  Operations  of  1592. 

100  COREA, 

of  fish  and  grain  for  the  army,  to  build  ships,  to  repair  their  walls, 
and  even  to  manufacture  rude  firearms. 

Yet  even  the  most  despondent  of  the  Coreans  never  dreamed 
that  the  Japanese,  on  their  first  arrival,  would  sweep  everything 
before  them  like  a  whirlwind,  and  enter  the  capital  within  eighteen 
days  after  their  landing  at  Fusan.  One  of  the  first  castles  garri- 
.soned  and  provisioned  was  that  of  Tong-nai,  near  Fusan.  On 
the  morning  of  May  25,  1592,  the  sentinels  on  the  coast  descried 
the  Japanese  fleet  of  eight  hundred  ships,  containing  the  division  of 
Konishi.  Before  night  the  invaders  had  disembarked,  captured 
Fusan,  and  laid  siege  to  Tong-nai  Castle,  which  at  once  surren- 
dered. So  sudden  was  the  attack  that  the  governor  of  the  district, 
then  in  the  city,  was  unable  to  escape.  Konishi,  writing  a  letter 
to  the  king,  gave  it  into  the  hands  of  the  governor,  and  made  him 
swear  to  deliver  it  safely,  promising  him  unconditional  liberty  if 
he  did  so.  The  governor  agreed,  and  at  once  set  out  for  Seoul ; 
but  on  reaching  it  he  simply  said  he  had  escaped,  and  made  no 
mention  of  the  letter.  His  perjury  was  not  to  remain  undetected, 
as  later  events  proved.  Without  an  hour's  delay  Konishi's  di- 
vision, leaving  Tong-nai,  marched  up  the  Nak-tong  valley  to 

Kato's  division,  delayed  by  a  storm,  arrived  next  day.  Land- 
ing immediately,  he  saw  with  chagrin  the  pennons  of  his  rival  fly- 
ing from  the  ramparts  of  Tong-nai.  Angry  at  being  left  behind 
by  "  the  boy,"  he  took  the  more  northerly  of  the  two  routes  to  the 
capital.  The  two  rival  armies  were  now  straining  every  nerve  on 
a  race  to  Seoul,  each  eager  to  destroy  all  enemies  on  the  march, 
and  reach  the  royal  palace  first.  Kuroda  and  other  generals  led 
expeditions  into  the  southern  provinces  of  Chulla  and  Chung- 
chong.  These  provinces  being  subdued,  and  the  castles  garri- 
soned, they  were  to  make  their  way  to  the  capital. 

The  Coreans  proved  themselves  especially  good  bowmen,  but 
inexpert  at  other  weapons,  their  swords  being  of  iron  only,  short, 
clumsy,  and  easily  bent.  Their  spears,  or  rather  pikes,  were 
shorter  than  the  Japanese,  with  heavy  blades,  from  the  base  of 
which  hung  tassels.  The  iron  heads  were  hollow  at  the  base, 
forming  a  socket,  in  which  the  staff  fitted.  The  Japanese  spear- 
heads, on  the  contrary,  were  riveted  down  and  into  the  wood, 
which  was  iron-banded  for  further  security,  making  a  weapon  less 
likely  to  get  out  of  order,  while  the  blades  were  steel-edged.  The 
Corean  cavalry  had  heavy,  three-pronged  spears,  which  were  ex- 



treriely  formidable  to  look  at,  but  being  so  heavy  as  to  be  un- 
wieidly  at  close  quarters,  they  did  little  execution.  Many  of  their 
suits  of  armor  were  handsomely  inlaid,  made  of  iron  and  leather, 

Corean  Knight  of  the  Sixteenth  Century. 

but  less  flexible  and  more  vulnerable  than  those  of  the  Japanese, 
which  were  of  interlaced  silk  and  steel  on  a  background  of  tough 
buckskin,  with  sleeves  of  chain  mail  The  foot  soldiers  on  either 
side  were  incased  in  a  combination  of  iron  chain  and  plate  armor, 

102  CORBA. 

but  the  Coreans  had  no  glaves,  or  cross-blades  on  their  pikes,  and 
thus  were  nearly  helpless  against  their  enemy's  cavalry.  The 
Japanese  were  smooth-shaven,  and  wore  stout  helmets,  with  ear- 
guards  and  visors,  but  the  Coreans,  with  open  helmets,  without 
visors,  and  whiskered  faces,  were  dubbed,  "  hairy  barbarians." 
They  were  beginning  to  learn  the  use  of  powder,  which,  however, 
was  so  badly  mixed  as  to  be  exasperatingly  slow  in  burning. 
Their  very  few  firearms  were  of  the  rudest  and  most  cumbrous 
sort.  They  used  on  their  ramparts  a  kind  of  wooden  cannon, 
made  of  bamboo-hooped  timber,  from  which  they  shot  heavy 
wooden  darts,  three  feet  long,  pointed  with  sharp-bladed,  Y-shaped 
iron  heads.  The  range  of  these  clumsy  missiles  was  very  short. 
The  Japanese,  on  the  contrary,  had  at  several  sieges  pieces  of  light 
brass  ordnance,  with  which  they  quickly  cleared  the  walls  of  the 
castles,  and  then  scaled  them  with  long  and  light  ladders,  made 
of  bamboo,  and  easily  borne  by  men  on  a  run.  The  Japanese 
were  not  only  better  equipped,  but  their  tactics  were  superior. 
Their  firearms  frightened  the  Corean  horses,  and  the  long  spears 
and  halberds  of  their  cavalry  were  used  with  fearful  effect  while 
pursuing  the  fugitives,  who  were  pierced  or  pulled  off  their  steeds, 
or  sabred  in  droves.  Few  bodies  of  native  troops  faced  the  inva- 
ders in  the  field,  while  fire-arrows,  gunpowder,  and  ladders  quickly 
reduced  the  castles.  Not  a  few  of  the  Corean  officers  were  killed 
inside  their  fortresses  by  the  long  range  fire  of  the  sharp-shooters 
in  the  matchlock  corps. 

The  greater  share  of  glory  fell  to  Konishi,  the  younger  man. 
Taking  the  southern  route,  he  reached  the  castle  of  Shang-chiu,  in 
the  northwestern  part  of  Kiung-sang,  and  captured  it.  Leaving  a 
garrison,  he  pushed  on  to  Chiun-chiu.  This  fortress  of  Chiun- 
chiu  is  situated  in  the  northeastern  part  of  Chung-chong  province, 
and  on  the  most  northerly  of  the  two  roads,  over  which  Kato  was 
then  marching.  It  was  at  that  time  considered  to  be  the  strongest 
castle  in  the  peninsula.  On  it  rested  the  fate  of  the  capital.  It 
lay  near  one  of  the  branches  of  the  Han  River,  which  flows  past 
Seoul.  At  this  point  the  two  high  roads  to  the  capital,  on  which 
the  two  rivals  were  moving,  converged  so  as  to  nearly  touch.  Chiun- 
chiu  castle  lay  properly  on  Kato's  route,  but  Konishi,  being  in  the 
advance,  invested  it  with  his  forces  and,  after  a  few  days'  siege, 
captured  the  great  stronghold.  The  loss  of  the  Coreans  thus  far 
in  the  three  fortresses  seized  by  Konishi,  as  reported  by  Friar 
Frois,  was  5,000  men,  3,000  of  whom  fell  at  Chiun-chiu;  while  the 


Japanese  had  lost  but  100  killed  and  400  wounded.  After  such  a 
victory,  "Konishi  determined  to  conquer  all  Corea  by  himself." 

Kato  and  his  army,  arriving  a  few  days  after  the  victory, 
again  saw  themselves  outstripped.  Konishi's  pennons  floated  from 
every  tower,  and  the  booty  was  already  disposed  of.  The  goal  of 
both  armies  was  now  "  the  Miaco  of  the  kingly  city  of  Coray." 
Str,  lining  every  nerve,  Kato  pressed  forward  so  rapidly  that  the 
twc  divisions  of  the  Japanese  army  entered  Seoul  by  different 
gates  on  the  same  day.  No  resistance  was  offered,  as  the  king, 
court,  and  army  had  evacuated  the  city  three  days  before.  The 
briliant  pageant  of  the  Japanese  army,  in  magnificent  array  of 
gay  silk  and  glittering  armor,  was  lost  on  the  empty  streets  of 
deserted  Seoul. 

When  Taiko  heard  of  the  success  of  his  lieutenants  in  Corea, 
especially  of  Konishi's  exploits,  he  was  filled  with  joy,  and  cried 
out,  "Now  my  own  son  seems  risen  from  the  dead." 



THE  court  at  Seoul  had  been  too  much  paralyzed  by  the  sudden 
invasion  to  think  of  or  carry  out  any  effective  means  of  resistance. 
Konishi  had  sent  letters  from  Fusan  and  Shang-chiu,  but  these, 
through  official  faithlessness  and  the  accidents  of  war,  had  failed 
in  their  purpose.  Konishi  was  too  fast  for  them.  When  the  news 
reached  Seoul,  of  the  fall  of  Chiun-chiu  castle,  the  whole  populace, 
from  palace  to  hut,  was  seized  with  a  panic  which,  in  a  few  hours, 
emptied  the  city.  The  soldiers  deserted  their  post,  and  the  cour- 
tiers their  king,  while  the  people  fled  to  the  mountains.  His  Ma- 
jesty resolved  to  go  with  his  court  into  Liao  Tung,  but  to  send 
the  royal  princes  into  the  northern  provinces,  that  the  people 
might  realize  the  true  state  of  affairs.  So  hurried  were  the  prep- 
arations for  flight,  which  began  June  9th,  that  no  food  was  pro- 
vided for  the  journey.  The  only  horses  to  be  obtained  were  farm 
and  pack  animals,  as  the  royal  stables  had  been  emptied  by  the 
runaway  soldiers.  The  rain  fell  heavily,  in  perpendicular  streams, 
soon  turning  the  roads  to  mire,  and  drenching  the  women  and 
children.  The  Corean  dress,  in  wet  weather,  is  cold  and  uncom- 
fortable, and  when  soaked  through,  becomes  extremely  heavy, 
making  a  foot  journey  a  severe  tax  on  the  strength.  To  add  to 
the  distress  of  the  king,  as  the  cortege  passed,  the  people  along 
the  road  clamored,  with  bitter  tears,  that  they  were  being  aban- 
doned to  the  enemy.  Tortured  with  hunger  and  fatigue,  the 
wretched  party  floundered  on. 

Their  first  day's  journey  was  to  Sunto,  or  Kai  Seng,  thirty 
miles  distant.  Darkness  fell  upon  them  long  before  they  reached 
the  Rin-yin  River,  a  tributary  of  the  Han,  which  joins  it  a  few  miles 
above  Kang-wa  Island.  The  city  lay  beyond  it,  and  the  crossing 
of  the  stream  was  done  in  the  light  of  the  conflagration  kindled 
behind  them.  The  king  had  ordered  the  torch  to  be  applied  to 
the  barracks  and  fortifications  which  guarded  the  southern  bank 


of  the  river.  Another  motive  for  this  incendiary  act  was  to  de- 
prive their  pursuers  of  ready  materials  to  ferry  themselves  across 
the  liver.  It  was  not  until  near  midnight  that  the  miserable  fugi- 
tives, tortured  with  hunger  and  almost  dead  with  fatigue,  entered 
the  city.  Though  feeling  safe  for  the  moment,  since  the  Japanese 
pursaers  could  not  cross  the  river  without  boats  or  rafts,  most  of 
the  king's  household  were  doomed  still  to  suffer  the  pangs  of  hun- 
ger. The  soldiers  had  stolen  the  food  provided  for  the  party,  and 
the  l;ing  had  a  scant  supper,  while  his  household  remained  hungry 
until  the  next  day,  when  some  of  the  military  gave  them  a  little 
rice.  The  march  was  resumed  on  the  following  morning  and  kept 
up  until  Ping-an  was  reached.  Here  they  halted  to  await  the 
progress  of  events. 

The  king  ordered  his  scattered  forces  to  rally  at  the  Kin-yin 
River,  and,  on  its  northern  bank,  to  make  a  determined  stand. 

Kato  and  Konishi,  remaining  but  a  short  time  in  the  capital, 
united  their  divisions  and  pressed  forward  to  the  north.  Reach- 
ing the  Rin-yin  River,  they  found  the  Corean  junks  drawn  up  on 
the  opposite  side  in  battle  array.  The  Japanese,  being  without 
boats,  could  not  cross,  and  waited  vainly  during  several  days  for 
something  to  turn  up.  Finally  they  began  a  feigned  retreat. 
This  induced  a  portion  of  the  Corean  army  to  cross  the  river, 
when  the  Japanese  turned  upon  them  and  cut  them  down  with 
terrible  slaughter.  With  the  few  rafts  and  boats  used  by  the 
enemy,  the  Japanese  matchlock  men  rapidly  crossed  the  stream, 
shot  down  the  sailors  and  the  remaining  soldiers  in  the  junks,  and 
thus  secured  the  fleet  by  which  the  whole  army  crossed  and  began 
the  march  on  Ping-an. 

The  rival  Japanese  commanders,  Kato  and  Konishi,  who  had 
hitherto  refrained  from  open  quarrel,  now  found  it  impossible  to 
remain  longer  together,  and  drew  lots  to  decide  their  future  fields 
of  action  in  the  two  northern  provinces.  Ham-kiung  fell  to  Kato, 
who  :  immediately  marched  eastward  with  his  division,  taking  the  high 
road  leading  to  Gensan.  Konishi,  to  whom  the  province  of  Ping-an 
fell,  pushed  on  to  Ping-an  City,  arriving  on  the  south  bank  of  the 
river  toward  the  end  of  July,  or  about  three  weeks  after  leaving 
Seoul.  Here  he  went  into  camp,  to  await  the  reinforcements 
under  Kuroda  and  Yoshitoshi.  These  soon  afterward  arrived, 
having  traversed  the  four  provinces  bordering  on  the  Yellow  Sea. 

The  great  need  of  the  Japanese  was  floating  material ;  next  to 
this,  their  object  was  to  discover  the  fords  of  the  river.  On 

106  COREA. 

July  20th  they  made  a  demonstration  against  the  fleet  of  junks 
along  the  front  of  the  city,  by  sending  out  a  few  detachments  of 
matchlock  men  on  rafts.  Though  unsuccessful,  the  Corean  king 
was  so  frightened  that  he  fled  with  his  suite  to  Ai-chiu.  The 
garrison  still  remained  alert  and  defiant. 

Delay  made  the  Japanese  less  vigilant.  The  Corean  command- 
ers, noticing  this,  planned  to  surprise  their  enemy  by  a  night 
attack.  Owing  to  bad  management  and  delay,  the  various  detach- 
ments did  not  assemble  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  until 
near  daylight.  Then  forming,  they  charged  furiously  upon  Ko- 
nishi's  camp,  and,  taking  his  men  by  surprise,  carried  off  hundreds 
of  prisoners  and  horses,  the  cavalry  suffering  worse  than  the  infan- 
try. Kuroda's  division  came  gallantly  to  their  support,  and  drove 
the  Coreans  back  to  the  river.  By  this  time  it  was  broad  day- 
light, and  the  cowardly  boat-keepers,  frightened  at  the  rout  of 
their  countrymen,  had  pushed  off  into  mid-stream.  Hundreds  of 
the  Coreans  were  drowned,  and  the  main  body,  left  in  the  lurch, 
were  obliged  to  cross  by  the  fords.  This  move  gave  the  Japanese 
the  possession  of  the  coveted  secret.  Flushed  with  victory,  the 
entire  army  crossed  over  later  on  the  same  day  and  entered  the 
city.  Dispirited  by  their  defeat,  the  garrison  fled,  after  flinging 
their  weapons  into  the  castle  moats  and  ditches  of  the  city  ;  but 
all  the  magazines  of  grain,  dried  fish,  etc.,  were  now  in  the  hands 
of  the  invaders.  Frois  reports,  from  hearsay,  that  80,000  Coreans 
made  the  attack  on  Konishi's  camp,  8,000  of  whom  were  slain. 

The  news  of  the  fall  of  Ping-an  City  utterly  demoralized  the 
Coreans,  so  that,  horses  being  still  numerous,  the  courtiers  de- 
serted the  king,  and  the  villagers  everywhere  looted  the  stores  of 
food  provided  for  the  army.  Many  of  the  fugitives  did  not  cease 
their  flight  until  they  had  crossed  the  Yalu  River,  and  found  them- 
selves on  Chinese  territory.  These  bore  to  the  Governor  of  Liao 
Tung  province,  who  had  been  an  anxious  observer  of  events,  the 
news  of  the  fall  of  Ping-an,  and  the  irresistible  character  of  the 
invasion.  The  main  body  of  the  Corean  army  went  into  camp 
at  Sun-an,  between  An-ton  and  Sun-chon.  In  Japan,  there  was 
great  rejoicing  at  the  news  received  from  the  frontier,  because,  as 
Frois  wrote,  Konishi,  "  in  twenty  days,  hath  subdued  so  mighty  a 
kingdom  to  the  crown  of  Japan."  Taiko  sent  the  brilliant  young 
commander  a  two-edged  sword  and  a  horse — "  pledges  of  the  most 
peerless  honor  that  can  possibly  be  done  to  a  man." 

The  Japanese  soldiers  felt  so  elated  over  their  victory  that  they 



expected  immediate  orders  to  march  into  China.  With  this  pur- 
pose :  n  view,  Konishi  sent  word  to  the  fleet  at  Fusan  to  sail  round 
the  western  coast,  into  Ta-tong  River,  in  order  to  co-operate  with 
the  victorious  forces  at  Ping-an.  Had  this  junction  taken  place, 
it  is  probable  China  would  have  been  invaded  by  Japanese  ar- 
mies, and  a  general  war  between  these  rival  nations  might  have 

Map  illustrating  the  Campaign  in  the   North,    1592-93. 

turned  the  current  of  Asiatic  history.  This,  however,  was  not  to 
be.  ( Korean  valor,  with  the  aid  of  gunpowder  and  improved  naval 
construction,  prevented  this,  and  kept  three  hundred  miles  of  dis- 
tance, in  a  mountainous  country,  between  the  Japanese  and  their 
base  of  supplies. 

Oriental  rhetoric  might  describe  the  situation  in  this  wise  :  the 
eastern  dragon  of  invasion  flew  across  the  sea  in  winged  ships,  and 

108  COREA. 

speedily  won  the  crystal  of  victory.  But  on  land  the  dragon  must 
go  upon  its  belly.  The  Corean  navy  snatched  the  jewel  from  the 
very  claws  of  the  dragon,  and  left  it  writhing  and  hungry. 

In  cool  western  phrase,  sinister,  but  significant,  Konishi  was 
soon  afterward  obliged  to  "  make  a  change  of  base."  The  bril- 
liant success  of  the  army  seems  to  have  impressed  the  Japanese 
naval  men  with  the  idea  that  there  was  nothing  for  them  to  do.  On 
the  contrary,  the  Cho-sen  people  set  to  work  to  improve  the  archi- 
tecture of  their  vessels  by  having  them  double-decked.  They  also 
provided  for  the  safety  of  their  fighting  men,  by  making  heavy 
bulwarks,  and  rearing,  along  the  upper  deck,  a  line  of  strong 
planks,  set  edgewise,  and  bolted  together.  Behind  these,  archers 
discharged  their  missiles  without  danger,  while  from  port-holes 
below  they  fired  their  rude,  but  effective,  cannon.  Appearing  off 
the  inlet,  in  which  the  Japanese  fleet  lay  at  anchor,  they  at  first 
feigned  retreat,  and  thus  enticed  their  enemies  into  pursuit. 
When  well  out  on  the  open  sea,  they  turned  upon  their  pursuers, 
and  then  their  superior  preparation  and  equipment  were  evident 
at  once. 

Lively  fighting  began,  but  this  time  the  Coreans  seemed  invul- 
nerable. They  not  only  gained  the  advantage  by  the  greater 
length  of  their  lances  and  grappling-hooks,  with  which,  using 
them  like  long  forks,  they  pulled  their  enemies  into  the  sea,  but 
they  sunk  a  number  of  the  Japanese  junks,  either  by  their  artil- 
lery or  by  ramming  them  with  their  prows.  The  remnant  of  the 
beaten  fleet  crept  back  to  Fusan,  and  all  hope  of  helping  the  army 
was  given  up.  The  moral  effect  of  the  victory  upon  the  Corean 
people  was  to  inspire  them  to  sacrifice  and  resistance,  and  in 
many  skirmishes  they  gained  the  advantage.  They  now  awaited 
hopefully  the  approach  of  Chinese  reinforcements. 

To  the  Chinese  it  seemed  incredible  that  the  capture  of  the 
strongest  castles,  the  capital,  and  the  chief  northern  city,  could  be 
accomplished  without  the  treasonable  connivance  of  the  Coreans. 
In  order  to  satisfy  his  own  mind,  the  Chinese  mandarin  sent  a  spe- 
cial agent  into  Corea  to  examine  and  report.  The  government  at 
Peking  were  even  more  suspicious,  but  after  some  hesitation,  they 
despatched,  not  without  misgiving,  a  small  body  of  Chinese  sol- 
diers to  act  as  a  body-guard  to  the  Corean  king.  These  braves 
crossed  the  frontier  ;  but  while  on  their  way  to  Ping-an,  heard  oi 
the  fall  of  the  city,  and,  facing  about,  marched  back  into  Liao 
Tung.  The  king  and  the  fragments  of  his  court  now  sent  courier 


after  courier  with  piteous  appeals  to  Peking  for  aid,  even  offering 
to  become  the  subjects  of  China  in  return  for  succor  rendered.  A 
force  of  5,000  men  was  hastily  recruited  in  Liao  Tung,  who 
marcted  rapidly  into  Corea.  Early  in  August  the  Japanese  pick- 
ets fiist  descried  the  yellow  silk  banners  of  the  Chinese  host. 
These  were  inscribed  with  the  two  characters  Tai-Ming  (Great 
Brightness),  the  distinctive  blazon  of  the  Ming  dynasty.  For  the 
first  time,  in  eight  centuries,  the  armies  of  the  rival  nations  were 
to  meet  in  pitched  battle. 

The  Chinese  seemed  confident  of  success,  and  moved  to  the 
attack  on  Ping-an  with  neither  wariness  nor  fear.  Having  in- 
vested, the  city,  they  began  the  assault  on  August  27th.  The 
Japanese  allowed  them  to  enter  the  city  and  become  entan- 
gled in  its  narrow  lanes.  They  then  attacked  them  from  ad- 
vantageous positions,  which  they  had  occupied  previously,  assail- 
ing them  with  showers  of  arrows,  and  charging  them  with  their 
long  lances.  One  body  of  the  Ming  soldiers  attempted  to  scale 
the  will  of  a  part  of  the  fortifications,  which  seemed  to  have  been 
negleoted  by  the  Japanese,  when  near  the  top,  the  whole  face  of 
the  ct  .stle  being  covered  with  climbing  men,  the  garrison,  rushing 
from  their  hiding-places,  tumbled  over  or  speared  their  enemies, 
who  fall  down  and  into  the  mass  of  their  comrades  below.  Those 
not  k  lied  by  thrusts  or  the  fall,  were  shot  by  the  gunners  on  the 
rampurts,  and  the  Chinese  now  received  into  their  bosoms  a 
show(  r  of  lead,  against  which  their  armor  of  hide  and  iron  was  of 
slight  avail.  In  this  fight  the  Ming  commander  was  slain.  The 
rout  ( >f  the  Chinese  army  was  so  complete,  that  the  fugitives  never 
ceased  their  retreat  until  safely  over  the  border,  and  into  China. 

The  government  at  Peking  now  began  to  understand  the  power 
of  th(  enemy  with  whom  they  had  to  deal.  An  army  of  40,000 
men  ^VSLS  raised  to  meet  the  invaders,  and,  in  order  to  gain  time,  a 
man,  named  Chin  Ikei,  was  sent,  independently  of  the  Coreans,  to 
treat  with  Konishi  and  propose  peace.  Some  years  before  the 
Japai  ese  pirates  had  carried  off  a  Chinaman  to  Japan,  where  he 
was  k  ept  captive  for  many  years.  Returning  to  China,  he  made 
the  a3quaintance  of  Chin  Ikei,  and  gave  him  much  information 
conce  rning  the  country  and  people  of  his  captivity.  Chin  Ikei  was 
evide  itly  a  mercenary  adventurer,  who  could  talk  Japanese,  and 
hoped  for  honors  and  promotion  by  acting  as  a  go-between.  He 
had  10  commission  or  any  real  authority.  The  Chinese  seem  to 
have  used  him  only  as  a  cat's-paw. 

110  COREA. 

Arriving  at  the  Corean  camp,  at  Sun-an,  early  in  October,  and 
fully  trusting  the  honor  of  the  Japanese  commander,  Chin  Ikei 
ventured,  in  spite  of  the  warnings  of  the  frightened  Coreans,  and 
to  their  intense  admiration,  within  the  Japanese  lines,  and  had  a 
conference  with  Konishi,  Yoshitoshi,  and  Gensho.  The  Chinese 
agent  agreed  to  proceed  to  Peking,  and,  returning  to  Ping-an  after 
fifty  days,  to  report  the  approval  or  disapproval  of  his  government. 
To  this  Konishi  agreed,  and  there  was  a  truce.  The  conditions  of 
peace,  insisted  on  by  Konishi,  were  that  the  Japanese  ancient  ter- 
ritory in  the  peninsula,  namely,  those  portions  covered  by  the  old 
states  of  Shinra  and  Hiaksai,  should  be  delivered  over  to  Japan, 
to  be  held  as  vassal  provinces.  This  demand  virtually  claimed  all 
Corea  south  of  the  Ta-tong  River,  in  right  of  ancient  possession 
and  recent  conquest  and  occupation. 

Arriving  in  Peking,  Chin  Ikei  found  the  Chinese  army  nearly 
ready  to  march,  and,  as  their  government  disowned  his  right  to 
treat  with  the  Japanese,  nothing,  except  the  time  gained  for  the 
Chinese,  resulted  from  the  negotiations.  Meanwhile  Kato  Kiyo- 
masa,  with  his  troops,  had  overran  the  whole  extent  of  Ham- 
kiung,  the  longest  and  largest  province  of  Corea,  occupying  also 
parts  of  Kang-wen.  No  great  pitched  battle  in  force  was  fought, 
but  much  hard  fighting  took  place,  and  many  castles  were  taken 
after  bloody  sieges.  In  one  of  these,  the  two  royal  princes,  sent 
north  by  their  father  on  his  flight  from  Seoul,  and  many  men  of 
rank  were  captured.  Among  his  prisoners,  was  "  a  young  girl  re- 
puted to  be  the  most  beautiful  in  the  whole  kingdom."  In  the 
pursuit  of  the  fugitives  the  Japanese  were  often  led  into  wild  and 
lonely  regions  and  into  the  depths  of  trackless  mountains  and  for- 
ests, in  which  they  met,  not  only  human  foes,  but  faced  the  tiger 
disturbed  from  his  lair.  They  were  often  obliged  to  camp  in 
places  where  these  courageous  beasts  attacked  the  sentries  or  the 
sleeping  soldiers.  Kato  himself  slew  a  tiger  with  his  lance,  after 
a  desperate  struggle..  After  a  hard  campaign,  the  main  body  of 
the  troops  fixed  their  camp  at  Am-pen,  near  Gensan,  but  closer  to 
the  southern  border  of  the  province.  Nabeshima's  camp  was  in 
Kang-wen,  three  days'  journey  distant.  From  a  point  on  the  sea- 
coast  near  by,  in  fair  weather,  the  island  cone  of  Dagelet  is  visible. 
To  the  question  of  Kato,  some  Corean  prisoners  falsely  answered  that 
this  was  Fujiyama — the  worshipped  mountain  of  the  home-land, 
and  "  the  thing  of  beauty  and  a  joy  forever  "  to  the  Japanese  peo- 
ple. Immediately  the  Japanese  reverently  uncovered  their  heads 


and,  kneeling  on  the  strand,  gazed  long  and  lovingly  with  home- 
sick hearts — a  scene  often  portrayed  in  Japanese  decorative  art. 

Thus  the  year  1592  drew  near  its  close  ;  the  Japanese,  neces- 
sarily inactive,  and  the  spirit  of  patriotism  among  the  Coreans 
rising.  Collecting  local  volunteer  troops  and  forming  guerilla 
bands,  they  kept  the  Japanese  camps,  along  the  road  from  Fusan 
to  Ping-an,  constantly  vigilant.  They  ferreted  out  the  spies  who 
had  kept  the  Japanese  informed  of  what  was  going  on,  and 
promptly  cut  off  their  heads.  Isolated  from  all  communication, 
Konishi  remained  in  ignorance  of  the  immense  Chinese  army  that 
was  marching  against  him.  The  discovery,  by  the  Japanese,  of  the 
existence  of  the  regular  Chinese  troops  in  Corea,  was  wholly  a 
matter  of  accident.  According  to  Chinese  report,  the  commander 
of  the  Ming  army,  Li-yu-son  (Japanese,  Ei  Jo  Sho),  was  a  valiant 
hero  fresh  from  mighty  victories  over  the  rising  Manchiu  tribes 
in  the  north.  The  march  of  his  host  of  60,000  men  through 
Liac  Tung  in  winter,  especially  over  the  mountain  passes,  was  a 
severe  one,  and  the  horses  are  said  to  have  sweated  blood.  Evi- 
dently the  expectation  of  the  leader  was  to  drive  out  the  inva- 
ders and  annex  the  country  to  China.  When  the  Corean  moun- 
tains appeared,  as  they  reached  the  Yalu  River,  the  leader  cried 
out,  "  There  is  the  place  which  it  depends  on  our  valor  to  recover 
as  our  hereditary  possessions."  On  the  sixth  day,  after  crossing 
the  iron  tier,  he  arrived  at  Sun-an.  It  was  then  near  the  last  of  Janu- 
ary, 1592,  and  the  New  Year  was  close  at  hand.  Word  was  sent 
to  Konishi  that  Chin  Ikei  had  arrived  and  was  ready  to  reopen 
negotiations,  with  a  favorable  reply.  Konishi  promptly  despatched 
a  captain,  with  a  guard  of  twenty  men,  to  meet  Chin  Ikei  and  escort 
him  within  the  lines.  It  being  New  Year's  Day,  February  2,  1593, 
the  guard  sallied  out  amid  the  rejoicings  of  their  comrades  who, 
tirea  of  desolate  Cho-sen,  longed  for  peace  and  home.  The  treach- 
erous Chinamen  received  the  Japanese  with  apparent  cordiality, 
and  feasted  them  until  they  were  well  drunk.  Then  the  unsuspi- 
cious Japanese  were  set  upon  while  their  swords  were  undrawn  in 
their  scabbards.  All  were  killed  except  two  or  three.  Accord- 
ing to  another  account,  they  fell  into  an  ambuscade,  and  fought 
so  bravely  that  only  three  were  taken  alive.  From  the  survivors 
Kon  ishi  first  learned  of  the  presence  of  the  Ming  army.  The  pre- 
text, afterward  given  by  the  lying  Chinaman,  was  that  the  inter- 
preters misunderstood  each  other,  and  began  a  quarrel.  The 
gravity  of  the  situation  was  now  apparent.  A  Chinese  army,  of 

112  COREA. 

whose  numbers  the  Japanese  were  ignorant,  menaced  them  in 
front,  while  all  around  them  the  natives  were  gathering  in  num- 
bers and  in  courage  to  renew  the  struggle  for  their  homes  and 
country.  The  new  army  from  China  was  evidently  well  equipped, 
disciplined,  and  supplied,  while  the  Japanese  forces  were  far  in 
an  enemy's  country,  distant  from  their  base  of  supplies,  and  with 
a  desolate  territory  in  the  rear.  Under  this  gloomy  aspect  cf 
affairs,  the  faces  of  the  soldiers  wore  a  dispirited  air. 

Konishi's  alternative  lay  between  the  risk  of  a  battle  and  re- 
treat to  Kai-seng.  He  was  not  long  in  resolving  on  the  former 
course,  for,  in  six  days  afterward,  the  Ming  host,  gay  with  gleam- 
ing arms,  bright  trappings,  and  dragon-bordered  silk  banners, 
appeared  within  sight  of  the  city's  towers.  Konishi  anxiously 
watched  their  approach,  having  posted  his  little  force  to  the  best 
advantage.  The  city  was  defended  on  the  west  by  a  steep  moun- 
tainous ridge,  on  the  north  by  a  hill,  and  on  the  south  by  a  river. 
The  Japanese  occupying  the  rising  ground  to  the  north,  which 
they  had  fortified  by  earthworks  and  palisades. 

At  break  of  day,  on  February  10th,  the  allies  began  a  furious 
assault  along  the  whole  line.  The  Japanese  at  first  drove  back  their 
besiegers  with  their  musketry  fire,  but  the  Chinese,  with  their 
scaling  ladders,  reached  the  inside  of  the  works,  where  their  num- 
bers told.  When  night  fell  on  the  second  day  of  the  siege,  all  the 
outworks  were  in  their  possession,  and  nearly  two  thousand  of  the 
Japanese  lay  dead.  The  citadel  seemed  now  an  easy  prize  to  the 
Corean  generals  ;  but  the  Chinese  commander,  seeing  that  the 
Japanese  were  preparing  to  defend  it  to  the  last,  and  that  his  own 
men  were  exhausted,  gave  the  order  to  return  to  camp,  expecting 
to.  renew  the  attack  next  morning. 

Konishi  had  despatched  a  courier  to  Otomo,  the  Japanese  offi- 
cer in  command  at  Hozan,  a  small  fortress  in  Whang-hai,  to  come 
to  his  aid.  So  far  from  obeying,  the  latter,  frightened  at  the 
exaggerated  reports  of  the  numbers  of  the  Chinese,  evacuated  his 
post  and  marched  back  to  Seoul.  Unable  to  obtain  succor  from 
the  other  garrisons,  and  having  lost  many  men  by  battle  and  dis- 
ease, while  many  more  were  disabled  by  wounds  and  sickness, 
Konishi  gave  orders  to  retreat.  One  of  his  bravest  captains  was 
put  in  command  of  the  rear-guard,  and  the  castle  was  silently  de- 
serted at  midnight.  In  this  masterly  retreat,  little  was  left  behind 
but  corpses.  Crossing,  upon  the  ice,  the  river,  which  was  then 
frozen  many  feet  in  thickness,  their  foes  were  soon  left  behind. 


Next  day  the  allied  army,  surprised  at  seeing  no  enemy  to  meet 
them,  entered  the  castle,  finding  neither  man  nor  spoil  of  any  kind. 
The  Coreans  wished  to  pursue  their  enemy,  but  the  Chinese  com- 
mander, not  only  forbade  it,  but  glad  of  a  pretext  by  which  he 
could  shift  the  blame  on  some  other  person,  cashiered  the  Corean 
general  for  allowing  the  Japanese  to  escape  so  easily.  Konishi, 
without  stopping  at  Kai-seng,  was  thus  enabled  to  reach  Seoul, 
now  tt.e  headquarters  of  all  the  invading  forces.  Fully  expecting 
the  early  advance  of  the  Chinese,  the  men  were  now  set  to  work 
in  fortifying  the  city. 

In  the  flush  of  success,  Li-yu-sung,  the  Ming  commander,  sent 
an  envoy  with  a  haughty  summons  of  surrender  to  Kato  and  Na- 
beshima.  To  this  Kato  answered  in  a  tone  of  defiance,  guarded 
his  noble  prisoners  more  vigilantly,  and  with  his  own  hand,  in  sight 
of  the  envoy,  put  the  beautiful  Corean  girl  to  death,  by  transfixing 
her,  with  a  spear,  from  waist  to  shoulder,  while  bound  to  a  tree. 
He  immediately  sent  reinforcements  to  the  castle  of  Kie-chiu,  then 
threatened  by  the  enemy. 

The  Corean  patriots,  who  organized  small  detachments  of 
troops,  began  to  attack  or  repel  the  invaders  in  several  places,  and 
even  to  lay  siege  to  castles  occupied  by  Japanese  wherever  they 
suspected  the  garrison  was  weak.  The  possession  of  a  few  firearms 
and  even  rude  artillery  made  them  very  daring.  They  compelled 
the  evacuation  of  one  fortress  held  by  Kato's  men  by  the  following 
means.  A  Corean,  named  Eichosun,  says  a  Japanese  author,  in- 
vented bombs,  or  shin-ten-rai  (literally,  heaven-shaking  thunder), 
containing  poison.  Going  secretly  to  the  foot  of  the  castle,  he  dis- 
chargcd  the  bombs  out  of  a  cannon  into  the  castle.  As  soon  as  they 
fell  or  touched  anything  they  burst  and  emitted  poisonous  gas,  and 
every  one  within  reach  fell  dead.  The  first  of  these  balls  fell  into 
the  garden  of  the  castle,  and  the  Japanese  soldiers  did  not  know 
what  it  was.  They  gathered  around  to  examine  it,  and  while  doing 
so,  th-i  powder  in  the  ball  exploded.  The  report  shook  heaven  and 
earth.  The  ball  was  rent  into  a  thousand  pieces,  which  scattered 
like  si  ars.  Every  man  that  was  hit  instantly  fell,  and  thus  more  than 
thirty  men  were  killed.  Even  those  who  were  not  struck  fell  down 
stunned,  and  the  soldiers  lost  their  courage.  Many  balls  were  after- 
ward thrown  in,  which  finally  compelled  the  evacuation  of  the  castle. 

From  the  above  account  it  seems  that  the  Coreans  actually  in- 
ventel  bombs  similar  to  the  modern  iron  shells.  They  may  have 
been  fired  from  a  heavy  wooden  cannon,  a  sort  of  howitzer,  made 

114  COREA. 

by  boring  out  a  section  of  tree  trunk  and  hooping  it  along  its 
whole  length  with  stout  bamboo.  Such  cannon  are  often  used  in 
Japan.  They  will  shoot  a  ten  or  twenty  pound  rocket  or  case  of 
fireworks  many  hundred  feet  in  the  air.  The  Corean  most  proba- 
bly selected  a  spot  so  distant  from  the  castle  that  a  sortie  for  its 
capture  could  not  be  successfully  made.  Corean  gunpowder  is 
proverbially  slow  in  burning,  which  accounts  for  the  fact  that  the 
Japanese  had  time  to  gather  round  it.  The  bomb  was  most  proba- 
bly a  thin  shell  of  iron,  loaded  only  with  gunpowder,  which,  like  the 
Chinese  mixture,  contains  an  excess  of  sulphur.  The  military  cus- 
toms of  the  Japanese  required  every  man  disabled  by  a  wound  to 
commit  hara-kiri,  so  that  the  number  of  actual  deaths  must  have 
been  swelled  by  the  suicides  that  followed  wounds  inflicted  by  the 
iron  fragments.  The  Japanese  were  so  completely  demoralized 
that  they  evacuated  the  castle. 

Two  other  castles  at  Kinzan  and  Kishiu,  being  beleagured  by  the  • 
patriots,  Kato  started  to  succor  the  slender  garrisons.  The  Coreans, 
hearing  this,  redoubled  their  efforts  to  capture  them  before  Kato 
should  arrive.  They  had  so  far  succeeded  that  the  Japanese  officer 
in  the  citadel,  having  lost  nearly  all  his  men,  went  into  the  keep,  or 
fireproof  storehouse,  in  the  centre  of  the  castle,  and  opened  his* 
bowels,  preferring  to  die  by  his  own  hands  rather  than  allow  a  Corean 
the  satisfaction  of  killing  him.  Just  at  that  moment  the  black  rings 
of  Kato's  banners  appeared  in  sight.  The  Coreans,  setting  the  castle 
on  fire,  and  giving  loud  yells  of  defiance  and  victory,  disappeared. 

Kato  and  Nabeshimahad  received  an  urgent  message  from  Seoul 
to  come  with  their  troops,  and  thus  unite  all  the  Japanese  forces 
in  a  stand  against  the  Chinese.  Kato  disliked  exceedingly  to  obey 
this  order  because  he  knew  it  came  from  Konishi,  but  he  finally 
set  out  to  march  across  the  country.  Thorough  discipline  was 
maintained  on  the  march,  and  the  rivers  were  safely  crossed. 
Cutting  down  trees,  the  soldiers,  in  companies  of  five  or  ten,  hold- 
ing on  abreast  of  logs,  forded  or  floated  over  the  most  impetuous 
torrents,  while  the  cavalry  kept  the  Coreans  at  bay.  Though  an- 
noyed by  attacks  of  guerilla  parties  on  their  flanks,  the  Japanese 
succeeded  in  reaching  Seoul  without  serious  loss. 

By  the  retreat  of  the  Japanese  armies,  and  their  concentration 
in  Seoul,  the  four  northern  provinces,  comprising  half  the  king- 
dom,  were  virtually  lost  to  them.  At  the  fall  of  Ping-an  the  war 
found  its  pivot,  for  the  Japanese  never  again  retrieved  their  for- 
tunes in  Cho-sen. 



THE  allies,  after  looking  well  to  their  commissariat,  began  their 
march  on  Seoul,  about  the  middle  of  February,  with  forces  which 
the  Japanese  believed  to  number  two  hundred  thousand  men.  The 
light  cavalry  formed  the  advance  guard.  The  main  body,  after 
floundering  through  the  muddy  roads,  arrived,  on  February  26th, 
about  tbrty  miles  northwest  of  Seoul. 

In  ahe  first  skirmish,  which  took  place  near  the  town  shortly 
afterward,  the  allies  drove  back  the  Japanese  advance  detachment 
with  heavy  loss.  Li-yo-sun,  the  commander-in-chief,  now  ordered 
the  an  ay  to  move  against  the  capital. 

In  the  council  of  war,  held  by  the  Japanese  generals,  Ishida, 
who,  like  Konishi,  was  a  Christian  in  faith,  advised  the  evacuation 
of  SeouL  This,  of  course,  provoked  Kato,  who  rose  and  angrily 
said  :  "  It  is  a  shame  for  us  to  give  up  the  capital  before  we  have 
seen  even  a  single  banner  of  the  Ming  army.  The  Coreans  and 
our  people  at  home  will  call  us  cowards,  and  say  we  were  afraid  of 
the  Chinamen."  Hot  words  then  passed  between  the  rival  generals, 
but  Otani  and  others  made  peace  between  them.  All  concluded 
that,  in  order  to  guard  against  treason,  the  Coreans  in  the  capital 
must  I  e  removed.  Thereupon,  large  portions  of  the  city  were  set 
on  fire,  and  houses,  gates,  bridges,  public  and  private  buildings, 
were  soon  a  level  waste  of  ashes.  The  people,  old  and  young,  of 
both  sisxes,  sick  and  well,  were  driven  out  at  the  point  of  the  lance. 
To  the  stern  necessities  of  war  were  added  the  needless  carnage 
of  massacre,  and  hundreds  of  harmless  natives  were  cruelly  mur- 
dered. Only  a  few  lusty  men,  to  be  used  as  laborers  and  burden- 
bearers,  were  spared. 

Yeiijs  after,  the  memory  of  this  frightful  and  inhuman  slaugh- 
ter, burdening  the  conscience  of  many  a  Japanese  soldier,  drove 
him  a  penitent  suppliant  into  the  monasteries.  There,  exiled  from 
the  wo  dd,  with  shaven  head  and  priestly  robe,  he  spent  his  days 

116  COREA. 

in  fasting,  vigils,  and  prayers  for  pardon,  seeking  to  obtain  Nir- 
vana with  the  Eternal  Buddha. 

Meanwhile  the  work  of  fortification  went  on.  The  advance 
guard  of  the  Chinese  host  were  now  within  a  few  miles  of  the  city, 
and  daily  skirmishes  took  place.  The  younger  Japanese  officers 
clamored  to  lead  the  van  against  the  Chinese,  but  Kobayekawa, 
an  elderly  general,  was  allowed  to  arrange  the  order  of  battle,  and 
the  Japanese  army  marched  out  from  the  capital  to  the  attack  in 
three  divisions,  Kobayekawa  leading  the  third,  or  main  body  of  ten 
thousand  men,  the  others  having  only  three  thousand  each.  In  the  J 
battle  that  ensued  the  Japanese  were  at  first  unable  to  hold  their 
ground  against  the  overwhelming  forces  of  their  enemies.  The  Chi- 
nese and  Coreans  drove  back  their  first  and  second  divisions  with 
heavy  loss.  Then,  thinking  victory  certain,  they  began  a  pursuit 
with  both  foot  soldiers  and  cavalry,  which  led  them  into  disorder  and 
exhausted  their  strength.  When  well  wearied,  Kobayekawa,  having 
waited  till  they  were  too  far  distant  from  their  camp  to  receive 
reinforcements,  led  his  division  in  a  charge  against  the  allies.  The 
battle  then  became  a  hand-to-hand  fight  on  a  gigantic  scale.  The 
Chinese  were  armed  mainly  with  swords,  which  were  short,  heavy,  \ 
and  double-edged.  The  allies  had  a  large  number  of  cavalry  en- 
gaged, but  the  ground  being  miry  from  the  heavy  rains,  they  were 
unable  to  form  or  to  charge  with  effect.  Their  advantage  in  other 
respects  was  more  than  counterbalanced  by  the  length  of  the  Japan- 
ese swords,  the  strength  of  their  armor,  and  their  veteran  valor  and 
coolness.  Even  the  foot  soldiers  wielded  swords  having  blades 
usually  two,  but  sometimes  three  and  four,  feet  long. 

The  Japanese  have  ever  prided  themselves  upon  the  length, 
slenderness,  temper,  and  keen  edge  of  their  blades,  and  look  with 
unmeasured  contempt  upon  the  short  and  clumsy  weapons  of  the 
continental  Asiatics.  They  proudly  call  their  native  land  "  The 
country  ruled  by  a  slender  sword."  Marvellous  in  wonder  and 
voluminousness  are  their  legends,  literature,  and  exact  history 
concerning  ken  (two-edged,  short  falchion),  and  Tcatana  (two-handed 
and  single-edged  sabre).  In  this  battle  it  was  the  sword  alone 
that  decided  the  issue,  though  firearms  lent  their  deadly  aid.  The 
long,  cross-bladed  spears  of  their  foot  soldiers  were  also  highly 
effective,  first,  in  warding  off  the  sabre  strokes  of  the  Chinese  cav- 
alry, and  then  unhorsing  them,  either  by  thrust  or  grapple.  One 
general  of  high  rank  was  pulled  off  his  steed  and  killed. 

The  Japanese  leaders  were  in  their  best  spirits,  as  well  as  in 


their  finest  equipments.  One  was  especially  noticeable  by  his 
gilded  helmet  that  flashed  and  towered  conspicuously.  It  was 
probably  that  of  Kato,  whose  head-gear  was  usually  of  incredible 
height  and  dazzling  splendor. 

After  a  long  struggle  and  frightful  slaughter,  the  allies  were 
beaten  back  in  confusion.  Ten  thousand  Chinese  and  Coreans, 
according  to  Japanese  accounts,  were  slaughtered  on  this  bloodiest 
day  and  severest  pitched  battle  of  the  first  invasion. 

The  Chinese  suffered  heavily  in  officers,  and  their  first  taste  of 
war  in  the  field  with  such  veterans  as  the  soldiers  of  Taiko  was 
discouraging  in  the  extreme.  Li-yo-sun  drew  off  his  forces  and 
soon  after  retired  to  Sunto.  Not  knowing  that  Kato  had  got  into 
Seoul,  and  fearing  an  attack  from  the  rear,  on  Ping-an,  he  drew 
off  his  main  body  to  that  city,  leaving  a  garrison  at  Sunto.  Tired, 
disgusted,  and  scared,  the  redoubtable  Chinaman,  like  "the  beaten 
soldier  that  fears  the  top  of  the  tall  grass/'  sent  a  lying  report  to 
Peking,  exaggerating  the  numbers  of  the  Japanese,  and  asking  for 
release  from  command,  on  the  usual  Oriental  plea  of  poor  health. 
As  for  the  Japanese,  they  had  lost  so  heavily  in  killed,  that  they 
were  loiable  to  follow  up  the  victory,  if  victory  it  may  be  called. 
A  sim.'H  force,  however,  pressed  forward  and  occupied  Kai-jo, 
while  the  main  body  prepared  to  pass  a  miserable  winter  in  the 
desolate  capital. 

The  Corean  stronghold  of  An-am  was  also  assaulted.  This  cas- 
tle was  built  on  a  precipitous  steep,  having  but  one  gate  and  flank 
capable  of  access,  and  that  being  a  narrow,  almost  perpendicular, 
cutting  through  the  rocks.  The  attacking  force  entered  the 
gloomy  valley  shut  in  from  light  by  the  luxuriant  forest,  which 
darkened  the  path  even  in  the  daytime.  At  the  tops,  and  on  the 
ledges  of  the  rocks  beetling  over  the  entrance-way,  the  Corean 
archers  took  up  advantageous  positions,  while  others  of  the  garri- 
son, v  ith  huge  masses  of  rock  and  timber  piled  near  the  ledge, 
stood  ready  to  hurl  these  upon  the  invaders. 

Awaiting  in  silence  the  approach  of  their  enemies,  they  soon 
saw  the  Japanese  fan-standards  and  paper-strip  banners  approach, 
when  these  were  directly  beneath  them,  every  bow  twanged,  and  a 
showc  r  of  arrows  rained  upon  the  invaders,  while  volleys  of  stones 
fell  into  their  ranks,  crushing  heads  and  helmets  together.  The 
besiegers  were  compelled  to  draw  off  and  arrange  a  new  attack  ; 
but  in  the  night  the  garrison  withdrew.  Next  day  the  Japanese  en- 
tered garrisoned  the  castle,  and  decorated  it  with  their  streamers. 

118  COREA. 

The  long-continued  abandonment  of  the  soil,  owing  to  the  war 
and  the  presence  of  three  large  armies,  bore  their  natural  fruits, 
and  turned  fertile  Corea  into  a  land  of  starvation.  Famine  began 
its  ravages  of  death  on  friend  and  foe  alike.  The  peasants  peti- 
tioned their  government  for  food,  but  none  was  to  be  had.  Thou- 
sands of  the  poor  people  died  of  starvation.  The  fathers  suffered 
in  camp,  while  the  dead  mothers  lay  unburied  in  the  houses,  and 
the  children,  tortured  with  hunger,  cried  for  food.  One  day  a 
captain  in  the  Chinese  army  found,  by  the  roadside,  an  emaciated 
infant  vainly  seeking  for  nourishment  from  the  cold  and  rigid 
breast  of  its  dead  mother.  Touched  with  compassion,  the  warrior 
took  the  child  and  reared  him  to  manhood  under  his  own  care. 

Some  rice  was  distributed  to  the  wretched  people  from  the 
government  store-houses  in  certain  places,  but  still  the  groans  and 
cries  of  the  starving  filled  the  air.  Pestilence  entered  the  Japan- 
ese camp,  and  thousands  of  the  home-sick  soldiers  died  inglori- 
ously.  The  long  winter  rains  made  the  living  despondent  and 
gloomy  enough  to  commit  hara-kiri,  while  the  state  of  the  roads 
and  the  dashing  courage  of  the  guerillas,  who  pushed  their  raids 
to  the  very  gates  of  the  camps,  made  foraging  an  unpopular  duty 
among  the  men.  In  such  discomfort,  winter  wore  away,  and  tardy 
spring  approached.  In  this  state  of  affairs  the  Japanese  were 
willing  to  listen,  and  the  allies  ready  to  offer,  terms  of  peace.  A 
Corean  soldier,  named  Rijunchin,  by  permission  of  his  superior 
officer,  had  penetrated  into  Seoul  to  visit  the  two  captive  princes. 
On  his  return  to  the  camp,  he  stated  that  the  Japanese  generals 
were  very  homesick  and  heartily  tired  of  the  war.  At  the  same 
'time,  a  letter  was  received  from  Konishi,  stating  his  readiness  to 
receive  terms  of  peace.  Chin  Ikei  was  again  chosen  to  negotiate. 
Reaching  the  Japanese  lines  at  Kai-jo,  he  held  an  interview  with 
Konishi,  and  the  following  points  of  agreement  were  made  : 

1.  Peace  between  the  three  countries. 

2.  Japan  to  remain  in  possession  of  the  three  southern  prov- 
inces of  Cho-sen. 

3.  Corea  to  send  tribute  to  Japan  as  heretofore. 

4.  Hideyoshi  to  be  recognized  as  King  of  Corea.     The  three 
other  articles  drawn  up  were  not  made  public,  but  the  acknowl- 
edgment of  Taiko  as  the  equal  of  the  Emperor  of  China  was  evi- 
dently one  of  them.     The  Japanese,  on  their  part,  were  to .  return 
the  two  captive  princes,  withdraw  all  their  armies  to  Fusan,  and 
evacuate  the  country  when  the  stipulations  were  carried  out. 


Both  parties  were  weary  of  the  war.  The  Ming  commander 
had  requested  to  be  relieved  of  his  command  and  to  return  to 
China,  while  the  three  old  gentlemen,  who  were  military  advisers 
in  the  Japanese  camp,  yearning  for  the  pleasures  of  Kioto,  wrote 
to  Taiko,  asking  leave  to  come  home,  telling  him  the  object  of 
his  ambition  was  on  the  eve  of  attainment,  and  that  he  was  to 
receive  investiture  from  the  Chinese  emperor,  and  recognition  as 

Scholarship  and  literature  were  not  at  a  very  high  premium  at 
that  t:me  among  the  Japanese  military  men.  The  martial  virtues 
and  ac  complishments  occupied  the  time  and  thoughts  of  the  war- 
riors to  the  exclusion  of  book  learning  and  skill  at  words.  The 
sword  for  the  soldier,  and  the  pen  for  the  priest,  was  the  rule. 
The  bluff  warrior  in  armor  looked  with  contempt,  not  unmingled 
with  awe,  upon  the  shaven-pated  man  of  ink  and  brush.  One  of 
the  bcnzes  from  the  monastery  was  usually  of  necessity  attached  to 
the  service  of  each  commander.  It  was  by  reason  of  the  ignorance, 
as  well  as  the  vanity,  of  the  illiterate  Japanese  generals  that  such  a 
mistake,  in  supposing  that  Taiko  was  to  be  recognized  as  equal  to 
the  Emperor  of  China,  was  rendered  possible.  The  wily  Chin  Ikei, 
who  drove  a  lucrative  trade  as  negotiator,  hoodwinked  Konishi,  who 
would  not  have  been  thus  outwitted  if  he  had  had  a  bonze  present 
to  inspect  the  writing.  Being  a  Christian,  however,  he  was  on  bad 
terms  with  the  bonzes. 

In  both  camps  there  were  those  who  bitterly  opposed  any 
peace  short  of  that  which  the  sword  decided.  The  Corean  gen- 
erals <  hafed  at  the  time  wasted  in  parley,  and  wished  to  march  on 
the  Japanese  at  once,  whose  ranks  they  knew  were  decimated 
with  sickness,  and  their  spirit  and  discipline  relaxed  under  the 
idea  of  speedy  return  home.  An  epidemic  had  also  broken  out 
among  their  horses,  probably  owing  to  scant  provender.  Thus 
cripplad  and  demoralized,  victory  would  certainly  follow  a  well- 
plannod  attack  in  force.  Within  the  camp  of  the  invaders  Achil- 
les ai  d  Agamemnon  were  as  far  as  ever  from  harmony.  Kato 
sullen  ty  refused  to  entertain  the  idea  of  peace,  partly  because 
Konisai  proposed  it,  but  mainly  because,  if  the  two  princes  were 
given  up,  his  achievements  would  be  brought  to  naught,  and 
all  tho  glory  of  the  war  would  redound  to  his  rival.  Only  af- 
ter the  earnest  representation  by  his  friends  of  the  empty  gran- 
aries, and  the  danger  of  impending  starvation,  the  great  sickness 
amonij  the  troops,  and  the  fearful  loss  of  horses,  was  he  in- 

120  CORE  A. 

duced  to  agree  with  the  other  commanders  that  Seoul  should  be 

Meanwhile,  the  allies  were  advancing  toward  the  capital. 

On  May  22,  1593,  the  Japanese,  with  due  precautions,  evacua- 
ted the  city,  and  the  vanguard  of  the  Chinese  army  entered  on  the 
same  day.  The  retreat  of  the  Japanese  was  effected  in  good 
order,  and,  to  guard  against  treachery,  they  bivouacked  in  the 
open  air,  avoiding  sleeping  in  the  houses  or  villages,  and  rigidly 
kept  up  the  vigilance  of  their  sentinels  and  the  discipline  of  the 
divisions.  In  this  way  the  various  detachments  of  the  army  safely 
reached  Fusan,  Tong-nai,  Kinka,  and  other  places  near  the  coast. 
Here,  after  fortifying  their  camps,  they  rested  for  a  space  from  the 
alarms  of  war,  almost  within  sight  of  their  native  land.  The  allies 
later  on  marched  southward  and  went  into  camp  a  few  leagues  to 
the  northward.  Since  crossing  the  Yalu  Kiver,  the  Chinese  had 
lost  by  the  sword  and  disease  twenty  thousand  men. 



THE  aspect  of  affairs  had  now  changed  from  that  of  a  trium- 
phal march  through  Corea  into  China  and  to  Peking,  to  long  and 
tedious  camp  life,  with  uncertain  fortunes  in  the  field,  which  prom- 
ised a  long  stay  in  the  peninsula.  Konishi  had  now  breathing  time 
and  space  for  reflection.  Being  an  ardent  Christian — after  the 
faith  and  practice  of  the  Portuguese  Jesuits — he  wished  for  him- 
self and  his  fellow-believers  the  presence  and  ministrations  of  one 
of  the  European  friars  to  act  as  chaplain.  He  therefore  sent,  prob- 
ably when  at  or  near  Fusan,  a  message  to  the  superior  of  the 
Mission  in  Japan,  asking  for  a  priest. 

Toward  the  end  of  1593,  the  Vice-Provengal  of  the  Company  of 
the  Jesuits  despatched  Father  Gregorio  de  Cespedes  and  a  Japan- 
ese convert  named  "Foucan  Eion  "  to  the  army  in  Cho-sen.  They 
left  Japan  and  spent  the  winter  in  Tsushima,  the  domain  of  Yoshi- 
toshi,  one  of  the  Christian  lords  then  in  the  field.  Early  in  the 
spring  of  1594  they  reached  Corea,  arriving  at  Camp  Comangai  (most 
probably  a  name  given  by  the  Japanese  after  the  famous  hero  Ku- 
magaye),  at  which  Konishi  made  his  headquarters.  The  two  holy 
men  immediately  began  their  labors  among  the  Japanese  armies. 
They  went  from  castle  to  castle,  and  from  camp  to  camp,  preach- 
ing to  the  pagan  soldiers,  and  administering  the  rite  of  baptism 
to  all  who  professed  the  faith,  or  signed  themselves  with  the  cross. 
They  administered  the  sacraments  to  the  Christian  Japanese,  com- 
foried  and  prayed  with  the  sick,  reformed  abuses,  assisted  the 
wounded,  and  shrived  the  dying.  New  converts  were  made  and 
old  ones  strengthened.  Dying  in  a  foreign  land,  of  fever  or  of 
wounds,  the  soul  of  the  Japanese  man-at-arms  was  comforted  with 
words  of  hope  from  the  lips  of  the  foreign  priest.  Held  before  his 
glaring  eyes  gleamed  the  crucifix,  on  which  appeared  the  image  of 
the  world's  Redeemer.  The  home-sick  warrior,  pining  for  wife 
and  babe,  was  told  of  the  "  House  not  made  with  hands." 

122  COREA. 

The  two  brethren  seem  to  have  been  very  popular  among  the 
Japanese  soldiers.  Perhaps  they  already  dreamed  of  planting  the 
faith  in  Corea,  when,  suddenly,  their  work  was  arrested  at  its  height 
by  Kato,  whose  jealousy  of  Konishi  was  only  equalled  by  his  fanati- 
cal zeal  for  the  Buddhist  faith.  Being  in  Japan  he  denounced  the 
foreign  priest  to  Taiko,  declaring  that  these  zealous  endeavors  to 
propagate  the  Christian  faith  only  concealed  a  vast  conspiracy 
against  himself  and  the  power  of  the  mikado.  At  this  time  Taiko 
was  dealing  with  the  Jesuits  in  Japan,  and  endeavoring  to  rid  the 
country  of  their  presence  by  shipping  them  off  to  China.  He 
fully  believed  that  they  were  political  as  well  as  religious  emissa- 
ries, and  that  their  aim  was  at  temporal  power.  These  suspicions, 
as  every  student  of  Japan  knows,  were  more  than  well  founded. 

Besides  accusing  Cespedes,  Kato  insinuated  that  Konishi  him- 
self was  leading  the  conspiracy.  The  cry  of  cho-teki  (rebel,  or 
enemy  of  the  mikado)  in  Japan  is  enough  to  blacken  the  character 
of  the  bravest  man  and  greatest  favorite.  Treason  against  the  mi- 
kado being  the  supreme  crime,  Konishi  found  it  necessary  to 
return  to  Kioto,  present  himself  before  Taiko,  and  cleanse  his  repu- 
tation even  from  suspicion.  This  the  lull  in  the  active  operations, 
occasioned  by  the  negotiations  of  Chin  Ikei,  enabled  him  to  do. 

Immediately  sending  back  the  priest,  he  shortly  afterward 
crossed  the  straits,  and,  meeting  Taiko,  succeeded  in  fully  ingrati- 
ating himself  and  allaying  all  suspicion. 

The  wife  of  Konishi  had  also  embraced  the  Christian  faith,  her 
baptized  name  being  Marie.  To  her,  while  in  camp,  he  had  sent 
two  Corean  lads,  both  of  whom  were  of  rank  and  gentle  blood,  the 
elder  being  called  in  the  letters  of  the  Jesuits  "  secretary  to  the 
Corean  king."  He  was  the  son  of  a  brave  captain  in  the  army, 
and  was  thirteen  years  old.  The  lady,  Marie,  touched  by  their 
misfortune,  kept  the  younger  to  be  educated  in  the  faith  under 
her  own  direction,  and  sent  the  elder  to  the  Jesuit  seminary  in 
Kioto.  Of  this  young  man's  career  we  catch  some  glimpses  from 
the  letters  of  the  missionaries.  At  the  college  he  was  a  favorite, 
by  reason  of  his  good  character,  gentle  manners,  and  fine  mind. 
Professing  the  faith,  he  was  baptized  in  1603,  taking  the  name  of 
Vincent.  He  began  his  religious  work  by  instructing  and  cate- 
chising Japanese  and  his  numerous  fellow  Coreans  at  Nagasaki. 
When  about  thirty-three  years  old,  the  Jesuits,  wishing  to  estab- 
lish a  mission  in  Corea,  proposed  to  send  him  to  his  native  land  as 
missionary  ;  but  not  being  able,  on  account  of  the  persecution 


then  raging  in  Japan,  lie  was  chosen  by  the  Father  Provencal  to 
go  to  Peking,  communicate  with  the  Jesuits  there,  and  enter  Corea 
from  China.  At  Peking  he  remained  four  years,  being  unable  to 
enter  his  own  country  by  reason  of  the  Manchius,  who  then  held 
control  of  the  northern  provinces  of  Manchuria  and  were  advancing 
on  Poking,  to  set  on  the  throne  that  family  which  is  still  the  ruling 
dynasty  of  the  Middle  Kingdom.  Vincent  was  recalled  to  Japan 
in  1(  20,  where,  in  the  persecutions  under  lyemitsu,  the  third  To- 
kuga^va  sho-gun,  he  fell  a  victim  to  his  fidelity,  and  was  martyr- 
ized in  1625,  at  the  age  of  about  forty-four. 

Warned  of  the  dangers  of  patronizing  the  now  proscribed  relig- 
ion, there  was  no  farther  return  of  zeal  on  Konishi's  part,  or  that 
of  the  other  Christian  princes,  and  no  farther  opportunity  was 
giver  to  plant  the  seeds  of  the  faith  in  the  desolated  land. 

Of  the  large  numbers  of  Corean  prisoners  sent  over  to  Japan, 
from  time  to  time,  many  of  those  living  in  the  places  occupied  by 
the  missionaries  became  Christians.  Many  more  were  sold  as 
slaves  to  the  Portuguese.  In  Nagasaki,  of  the  three  hundred  or 
more  living  there,  most  of  them  were  converted  and  baptized. 
They  easily  learned  the  Japanese  language  so  as  to  need  no  inter- 
preter at  the  confessional — a  fact  which  goes  to  prove  the  close 
affinity  of  the  two  languages. 

Others,  of  gentle  blood  and  scholarly  attainments,  rose  to  posi- 
tions of  honor  and  eminence  under  the  government,  or  in  the 
hous<3holds  of  the  daimios.  Many  Corean  lads  were  adopted  by 
the  returned  soldiers  or  kept  as  servants.  When  the  bloody  per- 
secutions broke  out,  by  which  many  thousand  Japanese  found 
deatli  in  the  hundred  forms  of  torture  which  hate  and  malice  in- 
ventod,  the  Corean  converts  remained  steadfast  to  their  new-found 
faith  and  suffered  martyrdom  with  fortitude  equal  to  that  of  their 
Japanese  brethren.  But,  by  the  army  in  Corea,  or  by  Cespedes, 
no  seed  of  Christianity  was  planted  or  trace  of  it  left,  and  its  in- 
trod  action  was  postponed  by  Providence  until  two  centuries  later. 



THE  Chinese  ambassadors,  with  whom  was  Chin  Ikei,  set  sail 
from  Fusan,  and  reached  Nagoya,  in  Hizen,  on  June  22d.  Taiko 
received  them  in  person,  and  entertained  them  in  magnificent 
style.  His  lords  imitated  the  august  example  set  them,  and  both 
presents  and  attentions  were  showered  upon  the  guests.  Among 
other  entertainments  in  their  honor  was  a  naval  review,  in  which 
hundreds  of  ships,  decorated  with  the  heraldry  of  feudalism,  were 
ranged  in  line.  The  boats  moved  in  procession ;  the  men,  standing 
up  as  they  worked  the  sculls,  sang  in  measured  chorus.  The 
sheaves  of  glittering  weapons,  spears,  and  halberds  arranged  at 
their  bows,  were  inlaid  with  gold  and  pearl.  The  cabins  were 
arranged  with  looped  brocades  and  striped  canvas,  with  huge 
crests  and  imperial  chrysanthemums  of  colossal  size.  The  am- 
bassadors were  delighted,  both  with  the  lovely  scenery  and  the 
attentions  paid  them,  and  so  remained  until  August. 

Little,  however,  came  of  this  mission.  Taiko  sent  orders  to 
Kato  to  release  the  Corean  princes  and  nobles ;  and  Chin  Ikei, 
who  usually  went  off  like  a  clumsy  blunderbuss,  at  half-cock,  hied 
back  to  Cho-sen  to  tell  the  news  and  get  the  credit  of  having  se- 
cured this  concession.  The  Coreans  were,  made  to  bear  the  blame 
of  the  war,  and  the  envoys  of  China,  in  good  humor,  returned  to 
Peking  in  company  with  a  Japanese  ambassador. 

Yet  Taiko,  though  willing  to  be  at  peace  with  China,  did  not 
intend  to  spare  unhappy  Cho-sen.  To  soothe  the  spirit  of  Kato, 
the  order  was  given  to  capture  the  castle  of  Chin-chiu,  forty  miles 
west  of  Fusan,  which  had  not  yet  been  taken  by  the  Japanese, 
though  once  before  invested. 

Alarmed  at  the  movements  of  the  invaders,  the  Coreans  tried 
to  revictual  and  garrison  the  devoted  fortress,  and  even  to  attack 
the  enemy  on  the  way.  Unable,  however,  to  make  a  stand  against 
fcheir  foes,  they  were  routed  with  frightful  carnage.  Kato  led 


the  besieging  force,  eager  to  make  speedy  capture  so  as  to  irritate 
the  Coreans  and  prevent  the  peace  he  feared. 

He  invested  the  castle  which  the  Coreans  had  not  been  able  to 
reinforce,  but  the  vigorous  resistance  of  the  garrison,  who  threw 
stones  and  timber  upon  the  heads  of  his  assaulting  parties,  drove 
him  to  the  invention  of  Kame-no-kosha,  or  tortoise-shell  wagons, 
which  imitated  the  defensive  armor  of  that  animal.  Collecting 
together  several  hundred  green  hides,  and  dry-hardening  them  in 
the  fire,  he  covered  four  heavily  built  and  slant-roofed  wagons 
with  them.  These  vehicles,  proof  against  fire,  missiles,  or  a  crush- 
ing weight,  and  filled  with  soldiers,  were  pushed  forward  to  the 
foot  of  the  walls.  While  the  matchlock  men  in  the  lines  engaged 
those  fighting  on  the  ramparts,  the  soldiers,  under  the  projecting 
sheds  of  the  tortoise  wagons,  that  jutted  against  the  walls,  began 
to  dig  under  the  foundations.  These  being  undermined,  the  stones 
wero  pried  out,  and  soon  fell  in  sufficient  number  to  cause  a 
breach.  Into  this  fresh  soldiers  rushed  and  quickly  stormed  the 
castle.  The  slaughter  inside  was  fearful. 

The  news  of  the  fall  of  this  most  important  fortress  fell  like  a 
clap  of  thunder  in  Peking,  and  upon  the  Corean  king,  who  was  pre- 
paring to  go  back  to  Seoul.  The  Chinese  government  appointed 
fresh  commissioners  of  war,  and  ordered  the  formation  of  a  new 
and  larger  army. 

The  immediate  advance  of  the  invaders  on  the  capital  was  ex- 
pected, but  Kato,  having  obeyed  Taiko's  orders,  left  a  garrison  in 
the  castle  and  fell  back  on  Fusan. 

The  Chinese  general,  upbraiding  Chin  Ikei  for  his  insincerity, 
sent 'him  to  Konishi  again.  Their  interview  was  taken  up  mainly 
with  mutual  charges  of  bad  faith.  Chin  Ikei,  returning,  tried  to 
persuade  the  Chinese  commander  to  evacuate  Corea,  or,  at  least, 
retire  to  the  frontier.  Though  he  refused,  being  still  under  orders 
to  fight,  the  Chinese  army  moved  back  from  Seoul  toward  Man- 
churia, while  Konishi,  on  his  own  responsibility,  despatched  a  letter 
to  the  Chinese  emperor.  Large  detachments  of  the  Japanese 
army  actually  embarked  at  Fusan,  and  returned  to  Japan.  In  the 
luD  of  hostilities,  negotiations  were  carried  on  at  Peking  and 
Kioto,  as  well  as  between  the  hostile  camps.  The  pen  took  the 
place  of  the  matchlock,  and  the  ink-stone  furnished  the  ammuni- 

A  son  was  born  to  Taiko,  and  named  Hideyori.  A  great  pag- 
eant, in  honor  of  the  infant,  was  given  at  the  newly  built  and 

126  COREA. 

splendid  castle  of  Fushimi,  near  Kioto,  which  was  graced  by  a 
large  number  of  the  commanders  and  veterans  of  Corea,  who  had 
returned  home  on  furlough,  while  negotiations  were  pending.  The 
result  of  the  Japanese  mission  to  Peking  was  the  despatch  of  an 
ambassador  extraordinary,  named  Rishosei,  with  one  of  lesser 
rank,  to  Japan,  by  way  of  Fusan. 

On  his  arrival,  he  requested  to  see  Konishi,  who,  however, 
evaded  him,  excusing  himself  on  the  plea  of  expecting  to  hear 
from  Taiko,  after  which  he  promised  to  hold  an  interview.  Ko- 
nishi then  departed  for  Japan,  taking  Chin  Ikei  with  him.  On 
his  return  he  still  avoided  the  Chinese  envoy,  for  he  had  no  defin- 
ite orders,  and  the  other  generals  refused  to  act  without  direct 
word  from  their  master  in  Kioto.  Meanwhile  Chin  Ikei,  consumed 
with  jealousy,  and  angry  at  the  Peking  mandarins  for  ignoring 
him  and  withholding  official  recognition  and  honors,  planned  re- 
venge against  Eishosei ;  for  Chin  Ikei  believed  himself  to  have 
done  great  things  for  Cho-sen  and  China,  and  yet  he  had  received 
neither  thanks,  pay,  nor  promotion  for  his  toils,  while  Rishosei, 
though  a  young  man,  with  no  experience,  was  honored  with  high 
office  solely  on  account  of  being  of  rank  and  in  official  favor  at 
Peking.  Evidently  with  the  intent  of  injuring  Rishosei,  Chin  Ikei 
gave  out  that  Taiko  did  not  wish  to  be  made  King  of  Cho-sen, 
but  had  sent  an  envoy  to  China  merely  to  have  a  high  ambassador 
of  China  come  to  Japan,  that  he  might  insult  or  rather  return  the 
insult  of  the  sovereign  of  China,  in  the  person  of  his  envoy,  by 
making  him  a  prisoner  or  putting  him  to  death.  Konishi  and 
Chin  Ikei  again  crossed  to  Japan  to  arrange  for  the  reception  of 
the  Chinese  envoys. 

The  reports  started  by  Chin  Ikei,  coming  to  the  ears  of  Risho- 
sei, so  frightened  him  that  he  fled  in  disguise  from  Fusan,  and 
absconded  to  China.  His  colleague  denounced  him  as  a  coward, 
and  declaring  that  the  Chinese  government  desired  only  "  peace 
with  honor,"  sailed  with  his  retinue  and  two  Corean  officers  to 
Japan.  "And  Satan  [Chin  Ikei],  came  also  among  them."  All 
landed  safely  at  Sakai,  near  Ozaka,  October  8,  1596. 

Audience  was  duly  given  with  pomp  and  grandeur  in  the  gor- 
geous castle  at  Fushimi,  on  October  24th.  The  ambassador 
brought  the  imperial  letter,  the  patent  of  rank,  a  golden  seal,  a 
crown,  and  silk-embroidered  robes  of  state.  At  a  banquet,  given 
next  day,  these  robes  were  worn  by  Taiko  and  his  officers. 

Formalities  over,  the  Ming  emperor's  letter  was  delivered  to 


Taiko,  who  at  once  placed  it  in  the  hands  of  three  of  the  most 
learn  ed  priests,  experts  in  the  Chinese  language,  and  ordered  them 
to  translate  its  contents  literally. 

To  Konishi,  then  at  Kioto,  came  misgivings  of  his  abilities  as  a 
diplomatist.  Visiting  the  bonzes,  he  earnestly  begged  them  to 
soften  into  polite  phrase  anything  in  the  letter  that  might  irritate 
Taiko.  But  the  priests  were  inflexibly  honest,  and  rendered  the 
text  of  the  letter  into  the  exact  Japanese  equivalent.  In  it  the 
patent  of  nobility  first  granted  to  the  Ashikaga  sho-gun  (1403- 
1425)  was  referred  to;  and  the  gist  of  this  last  imperial  letter 
was  "  We,  the  Emperor  of  China,  appoint  you,  Taiko,  to  be  the 
King  of  Japan"  (Nippon  O).  In  other  words,  the  mighty  Kuam- 
baku  of  Japan  was  insulted  by  being  treated  no  better  than  one 
of  t]ie  Ashikaga  generals  ! 

This  was  the  mouse  that  was  born  from  so  great  a  mountain 
of  diplomacy.  The  rage  of  Taiko  was  so  great  that,  with  his  own 
hands,  he  would  have  slain  Konishi,  had  not  the  bonzes  plead  for 
his  life,  claiming  that  the  responsibility  of  the  negotiations  rested 
upon  three  other  prominent  persons.  As  usual,  the  "false-hearted 
Coreans  "  were  made  to  bear  the  odium  of  the  misunderstanding. 

The  Chinese  embassy,  dismissed  in  disgrace,  returned  in  Janu- 
ary, 1596,  and  made  known  their  humiliation  at  Peking  ;  while 
the  King  of  Corea,  who  had  been  living  in  Seoul  during  the  ne- 
gotiations, appealed  at  once  for  speedy  aid  against  the  impending 
invasion.  Hideyoshi  again  applied  himself  with  renewed  vigor  to 
raising  and  drilling  a  new  army,  and  obtaining  ships  and  sup- 
plies. A  grand  review  of  the  forces  of  invasion,  consisting  of  one 
hundred  and  sixty -three  thousand  horse  and  foot  soldiers,  was  held 
under  his  inspection.  Kuroda,  Nagamasa,  and  other  generals, 
wit]  i  their  divisions,  sailed  away  for  Fusan,  January  7,  1597,  and 
joined  the  army  under  Konishi  and  Kato. 

The  new  levies  from  China,  which  had  been  waiting  under 
arirs,  crossed  the  Yalu  and  entered  from  the  west  at  about  the 
sane  time.  Marching  down  through  Ping-an  and  Seoul,  a  divi- 
sioi  of  ten  thousand  garrisoned  the  castle  of  Nan-on,  in  Chulla. 
Th(  Coreans,  meanwhile,  fitted  out  a  fleet,  under  the  command  of 
Geukai,  expecting  a  second  victory  on  the  water. 

An  extinguisher  was  put  on  Chin  Ikei,  who  was  suspected  of 
being  in  the  pay  of  Konishi.  Genkai,  a  Chinese  captain,  had  long 
believed  him  to  be  a  dangerous  busybody,  without  any  real  powers 
from  the  Peking  government,  but  only  used  by  them  as  a  decoy 

128  COREA. 

duck,  while,  in  reality,  he  was  in  the  pay  of  the  Japanese,  and  the 
chief  hinderance  to  the  success  of  the  allied  arms.  On  the  other 
hand,  this  volunteer  politician,  weary  and  disappointed  at  not  re- 
ceiving from  China  the  high  post  and  honors  which  his  ambition 
coveted,  was  in  a  strait.  Taiko  urged  him  to  secure  from  China 
the  claim  of  Japan  to  the  southern  half  of  Corea.  China,  on  the 
contrary,  ordered  him  to  induce  the  Japanese  generals  to  leave 
the  country.  Thus  situated,  Chin  Ikei  knew  not  what  to  do.  He 
sent  a  message,  through  a  priest,  to  Kato,  urging  him  to  make 
peace  or  else  meet  an  army  of  one  hundred  thousand  Chinamen. 
The  laconic  reply  of  the  Japanese  was  :  "  I  am  ready  to  fight.  Let 
them  come." 

Bluffed  in  his  last  move,  and  aware  of  the  plots  of  Genkai,  his 
enemy,  Chin  Ikei,  at  his  wits'  end,  resolved  to  escape  to  Konishi's 
camp.  The  spies  of  Genkai  immediately  reported  the  fact  to  their 
master,  who  lay  in  wait  for  him.  Suddenly  confronting  his  vic- 
tim, they  demanded  his  errand.  "  I  am  going  to  treat  with  Kato, 
the  Japanese  general ;  I  shall  be  back  in  one  month,"  answered 
Chin  Ikei.  He  was  seized  and,  on  being  led  back,  was  thrown 
into  prison.  A  searching  party  was  then  despatched  at  once  to 
his  house.  There  they  found  gold,  treasure,  and  jewels  "  moun- 
tain high,"  and  his  wife  living  in  luxury.  Believing  all  these  to 
have  been  purchased  by  Japanese  gold,  and  the  fruits  of  bribery, 
the  Chinese  confiscated  the  spoil  and  imprisoned  the  traitor's 

This  ended  all  further  negotiations  until  the  end  of  the  war. 
Henceforth,  on  land  and  water,  by  the  veterans  of  both  armies, 
with  fresh  levies,  both  of  allies  and  invaders,  the  issue  was  tried 
by  sword  and  siege. 



TIIE  plan  of  the  second  invasion  was  to  land  all  the  Japanese 
forces  at  Fusan,  and  then  to  divide  them  into  three  columns, 
which  were  to  advance  by  the  south  to  Nan-on  castle  in  Chulla, 
and  by  two  roads,  northward  and  westward,  to  the  capital.  As 
beforo,  Konishi  and  Kato  Kiyomasa  were  the  two  field  command- 
ers, while  Hideaki,  a  noble  lad,  sixteen  years  old,  was  the  nomi- 
nal commander-in-chief. 

The  Coreans  had  made  preparations  to  fight  the  Japanese  at 
sea  as  well  as  on  land.  Their  fleet  consisted  of  about  two  hundred 
vessels  of  heavy  build,  for  butting  and  ramming,  as  well  as  for  ac- 
comn  odating  a  maximum  of  fighting  men.  They  were  two  hun- 
dred ;md  fifty  or  three  hundred  feet  in  length,  with  huge  sterns,  hav- 
ing enormous  rudders,  the  tillers  of  which  were  worked  by  eight 
men.  Their  high,  flat  prows  were  hideously  carved  and  painted  to 
repre  sent  the  face  and  open  jaws  of  a  dragon,  or  demon,  ready  to 
devour.  Stout  spars  or  knotted  logs,  set  upright  along  the  gunwale, 
protected  the  men  who  worked  the  catapults,  and  heavily  built 
roofed  cabins  sheltered  the  soldiers  and  gave  the  archers  a  vantage 
groui,d.  The  rowers  sat  amidships,  between  the  cabins  and  the 
gunwales,  or  rather  over  on  these  latter,  in  casements  made  of 
stout  timber.  The  catapults  were  on  deck,  between  the  bows. 
They  were  twenty-four  feet  long,  made  of  tree-trunks  a  yard  in 
circumference.  Immense  bows,  drawn  to  their  notches  by  wind- 
lasses, shot  iron-headed  darts  and  bolts  six  feet  long  and  four  in- 
ches fchick.  On  some  of  the  ships  towers  were  erected,  in  which 
cannc  n,  missile-engines,  and  mus*keteers  were  stationed,  to  shoot 
out  fi  -e-arrows,  stones,  and  balls.  At  close  quarters  the  space  at 
the  b  >ws — about  one-third  of  the  deck — was  free  for  the  move- 
ments of  the  men  wielding  spear  and  sword,  and  for  those  who 
plied  the  grappling  hooks  or  boarding  planks.  The  decks  crowded 
with  men  in  armor,  the  glitter  of  steel  and  flash  of  oars,  the  blare 

130  CORE  A. 

of  the  long  Corean  trumpets,  and  the  gay  fluttering  of  thousands 
of  silken  flags  and  streamers  made  brilliant  defiance. 

The  Japanese  accepted  the  challenge,  and,  sailing  out,  closed 
with  the  enemy.  Wherever  they  could,  they  ran  alongside  and 
gave  battle  at  the  bows.  Though  their  ships  were  smaller,  they 
were  more  manageable.  In  some  cases,  they  ran  under  the  high 
sterns  and  climbed  on  board  the  enemy's  ships.  Once  at  hand  to 
hand  fight,  their  superior  swordsmanship  quickly  decided  the  day. 
Their  most  formidable  means  of  offence  which,  next  to  their  can- 
non, won  them  the  victory,  were  their  rockets  and  fire-arrows, 
which  they  were  able  to  shoot  into  the  sterns,  where  the  dry 
wood  soon  caught  fire,  driving  the  crews  into  the  sea,  where  they 
drowned.  Two  hours  fighting  sufficed,  by  which  time  one  hun- 
dred and  seventy-four  Corean  ships  had  been  burned  or  taken. 
News  of  this  brilliant  victory  was  at  once  sent  by  a  swift  vessel  to 

Endeavors  were  made  to  strengthen  the  garrison  at  Nan-on, 
but  the  Japanese  general,  Kato  Yoshiakira,  meeting  the  reinforce- 
ments on  their  way,  prevented  their  design.  Kato  Kiyomasa, 
changing  his  plans,  also  marched  to  Nan-on,  resolving  to  again, 
if  possible,  snatch  an  honor  from  his  rival.  As  usual,  the  younger 
man  was  too  swift  for  him.  Konishi  now  moved  his  entire  com- 
mand in  the  fleet  up  the  Sem  River,  in  Chulla  province,  and  land- 
ing, camped  at  a  place  called  Uren,  eighteen  ri  from  Nan-on  castle. 
He  rested  here  five  days  in  the  open  meadow  land  to  allow  the 
horses  to  relax  their  limbs  after  the  long  and  close  confinement  in 
the  ships.  From  a  priest,  whom  they  found  at  this  place,  they 
learned  that  the  garrison  of  Nan-on  numbered  over  20,000  Chi- 
nese and  Coreans,  the  reinforcements  in  the  province,  and  on  their 
way,  numbered  20,000  more,  while  in  the  north  was  another  Chi- 
nese corps  of  20,000. 

At  the  council  of  war  held,  it  was  resolved  to  advance  at  once 
to  take  the  castle  before  succor  came.  In  spite  of  many  lame 
horses,  and  the  imperfect  state  of  the  commissariat,  the  order  to 
march  was  given.  Men  and  beasts  were  in  high  spirits,  but  many 
of  the  horses  were  ridden  to  death,  or  rendered  useless  by  the 
forced  march  of  the  cavalry.  Early  on  the  morning  of  September 
21st,  the  advance  guard  camped  in  the  morning  fog  at  a  distance  of 
a  mile  from  the  citadel.  The  main  body,  coming  up,  surrounded 
it  on  all  sides,  pitched  their  camp,  threw  out  their  pickets,  set  up 
their  standards,  and  proceeded  promptly  to  fortify  their  lines. 



Nan-on  castle  was  of  rectangular  form,  enclosing  a  space  nearly 
two  miles  square,  as  each  side  was  nine  thousand  feet  long.     Its 

Map  of  the  Operations  of  the  Second  Invasion. 

walls,  which  were  twelve  feet  high,  were  built  of  great  stones,  laid 
together  without  cement.  Though  no  mortar  had  been  used  on 
wall  or  tower,  shell-lime  had  been  laid  over  the  outside,  in  which 

132  CORE  A. 

glistened  innumerable  fragments  of  nacre  and  the  enamel  of 
shells,  giving  the  structure  the  appearance  of  glittering  porcelain. 
At  the  angles,  and  at  intervals  along  the  flanks,  were  towers,  two 
or  three  stories  high.  The  four  ponderous  gates  were  of  stone, 
fourteen  feet  high. 

The  preparations  for  defence  were  all  that  Chinese  science 
could  suggest.  In  the  dry  ditch,  three  hundred  feet  wide,  was  an 
abatis  of  tree-trunks,  with  their  branches  outward,  behind  which 
were  iron-plated  wagons,  to  be  filled  with  archers  and  spearmen. 
From  the  towers,  fire-missiles  and  shot  from  firearms  were  in 

The  weak  points,  at  which  no  enemy  was  expected,  and  for 
which  preparations  for  defence  were  few,  were  on  the  east  and 

No  effect  being  produced  during  the  first  two  days,  either  by 
bullets  or  fire-arrows,  Konishi,  on  the  third,  sent  large  detach- 
ments of  men  into  the  rice-fields,  then  covered  with  a  promising 
harvest  of  growing  rice,  which  the  farmers,  in  the  hope  of  peace, 
had  sown.  Reaping  the  green,  juicy  stalks,  the  hundreds  of  sol- 
diers gathered  an  enormous  quantity  of  sheaves  and  waited,  with 
these  and  their  stacks  of  bamboo  poles  and  ladders,  until  night. 
In  the  thick  darkness,  and  in  perfect  silence,  they  moved  to  a  part 
of  the  Avail  which,  being  over  twenty  feet  high,  was  but  slightly 
guarded,  and  began  to  build  a  platform  of  the  sheaves.  Four  Ja- 
panese, reaching  the  top  by  climbing,  raised  the  war-cry,  and  one 
of  the  towers  being  set  on  fire  by  their  arrows,  the  work  was  dis- 
covered. Yet  the  matchlock  men  kept  the  walls  swept  by  their 
bullets,  while  the  work  of  piling  fresh  sheaves  and  bundles  of 
bamboo  went  on.  The  greenness  of  the  rice-stalks  made  the  mass 
both  firm  and  fire-proof.  At  last  the  mound  was  so  high  that  it 
overtopped  the  wall.  The  men  now  climbed  over  the  ramparts 
by  the  hundreds,  and  the  swordsmen,  leaping  into  the  castle, 
began  the  fight  at  hand  to  hand.  Most  of  the  Chinese  fought 
with  the  courage  of  despair,  while  others,  in  their  panic,  opened 
the  gates  to  escape,  by  which  more  of  the  besiegers  entered.  The 
garrison,  smitten  in  front  and  rear,  were  driven  to  the  final  wall 
by  Konishi' s  troops.  On  'the  other  side  a  body  of  picked  men, 
from  Kato's  army,  joined  in  the  slaughter.  They  had  entered  the 
castle  at  the  rear,  by  scaling  a  rugged  mountain  path  known  only 
to  the  Corean  prisoners,  whose  treachery  they  had  purchased  by 
the  promise  of  their  lives.  Between  the  two  attacking  forces  the 


Cor  sans  and  Chinese,  who  could  not  escape,  were  slain  by  thou* 

.imong  many  curious  incidents  narrated  by  Ogawuchi,  who 
tells  the  story  of  this  siege  and  attack,  was  this.  As  he  entered 
the  castle,  amid  the  smoke  and  confusion,  in  which  he  saw  some 
of  the  panic-stricken  garrison  destroying  themselves,  he  cut  off  the 
heads  of  two  enemies,  and  then,  suddenly  recollecting  that  this 
fifteenth  day  of  the  eighth  month  was  the  day  sacred  to  Hachi- 
man,  the  god  of  war  and  Buddha  of  the  Eight  Banners,  he  flung 
do^Ti  his  bloody  sword,  put  his  red  palms  together,  and  bowing 
his  head,  prayed  devoutly  toward  his  adored  Japan.  His  devo- 
tions ended,  he  sliced  off  the  noses  from  the  heads  of  the  two 
enemies  he  had  slain,  wrapped  them  in  paper,  twisted  the  pack- 
age to  his  girdle,  and  sprang  forward  to  meet,  with  but  three  men, 
the  charge  of  fifty  horsemen.  The  first  sweep  of  the  Japanese 
sab::e  severed  the  leg  of  the  nearest  rider,  who  fell  to  the  earth  on 
the  other  side  of  his  horse,  and  Ogawuchi' s  companions  killing  each 
his  man,  the  enemy  fled.  The  fires  of  the  burning  towers  now 
lighted  up  the  whole  area  of  the  castle,  while  the  autumn  moon 
roso  red  and  clear.  Ogawuchi  slew,  with  his  own  hand,  Keku- 
shiu,  one  of  the  Chinese  commanders.  His  body,  in  rich  armor, 
lined  with  gold  brocade,  was  stripped,  and  the  trappings  secured 
as  trophies  to  be  sent  home,  while  his  head  was  presented  for 
Konishi's  inspection  next  morning. 

According  to  the  barbarous  custom  of  the  victors,  they  severed 
the  heads  of  the  bodies  not  already  decapitated  in  fight,  until  the 
castle  space  resembled  a  great  slaughter-yard.  Collecting  them 
into  a  great  heap,  they  began  the  official  count.  The  number  of 
the ^e  ghastly  trophies,  or  "  glory-signs,"  was  three  thousand  seven 
hui  dred  and  twenty-six.  The  ears  and  noses  of  the  slain  were 
the  i  sheared  off,  and  with  the  commander's  head,  were  packed 
wit>i  salt  and  quick  lime  in  casks,  and  sent  to  Japan  to  form  the 
greit  ear-tomb  now  in  Kioto,  the  horrible  monument  of  a  most 
unrighteous  war. 

A  map  of  the  castle  and  town,  -with  the  list  of  the  most  meri- 
torous  among  the  victors,  was  duly  sent  back  to  Taiko.  Then 
the  walls  and  towers,  granaries,  and  barracks  were  destroyed. 
This  work  occupied  two  days. 

Promptly  on  September  30th  the  army  moved  on  to  Teru-shiu, 
the  cavalry  riding  day  and  night,  and  reaching  the  castle  only  to 
find  it  deserted,  the  garrison  having  fled  toward  Seoul.  The  Jap- 

134  COREA. 

anese  remained  here  ten  days,  levelling  the  fortress  with  fire  and 

As  the  cold  weather  was  approaching,  the  Japanese  command- 
ers, after  council,  resolved  at  once  to  march  to  the  capital.  Kat- 
suyoshi  and  Kiyomasa  had  joined  them,  and  the  advance  north- 
ward was  at  once  began.  By  October  19th  they  were  within 
seventeen  miles  of  Seoul.1 

The  successes  on  land,  brilliant  though  they  were,  were  bal- 
anced by  the  defeat  of  the  Japanese  navy  off  the  southern  coast. 
The  Chinese  admiral  Bishinshin,  in  conjunction  with  the  Coreans, 
won  an  important  victory  over  Kuroda's  naval  forces  a  few  days 
after  the  fall  of  Nan-on.  In  this  instance,  the  Chinese  ships  were 
not  only  heavy  enough  to  be  formidable  as  rams,  but  were  made 
more  manageable  by  numerous  rowers  sitting  in  well-defended 
timber  casements,  apparently  covered  with  metal.  The  warriors, 
too,  seem  to  have  been  armed  with  larger  lances.  The  Chinese 
commanders,  having  improved  their  tactics,  so  managed  their  ves- 
sels that  the  Japanese  fleet  was  destroyed  or  driven  away. 

This  event  may  be  said  to  have  decided  the  fate  of  the  cam- 
paign. Bereft  of  their  fleet,  which  would,  by  going  round  the 
west  coast,  have  afforded  them  a  base  of  supplies,  they  were  now 
obliged  to  advance  into  a  country  nearly  empty  of  forage,  and 
with  no  store  of  provisions.  As  in  the  opening  of  the  war,  so 
again,  the  loss  of  the  fleet  at  a  critical  period  made  retreat  neces- 
sary even  at  the  moment  of  victory. 

Meanwhile,  the  Chinese  general  Keikai,  thoroughly  disliking 
the  rigors  of  a  camp  in  a  Corean  winter,  and  feeling  deeply  for  his 
soldiers  suffering  from  exposure  in  a  desolate  land,  determined  on 
closing  the  war  as  soon  as  possible.  Erecting  an  altar,  in  presence 
of  the  army,  he  offered  sacrifices  to  propitiate  the  spirits  of  Heaven 
and  Earth,  and  prayed  for  victory  against  the  invaders.  Then,  after 
seeing  well  to  commissariat  and  equipment,  he  gave  orders  for  a 
general  movement  of  all  the  allied  forces,  with  the  design  of  end- 
ing the  war  by  a  brief  and  decisive  campaign.  The  Japanese  gen- 
erals at  Koran,  by  means  of  their  spies  and  advance  parties,  kept 
themselves  well  informed  of  the  movements  of  the  enemy.  At  a 

1  Their  line  of  march,  as  shown  in  the  Japanese  histories,  was  to  Sen-ken, 
October  llth ;  to  Kumu-san,  where  they  experienced  the  first  frost ;  to  Kumui, 
October  12th ;  to  Chin-zon  ;  to  Funki ;  to  Shaku-shiu ;  to  Koran  ;  to  Chin-zen,. 
These  are  names  of  places  in  Chulla  and  Chung-chong,  expressed  in  the  Jar 
panese  and  old  Corean  pronunciation. 


skirmish  at  Chin-zen  the  Chinese  advance  guard  was  defeated 
with  heavy  loss,  but  the  Japanese  at  once  began  their  retreat. 
Shislrda  and  Ota,  who  were  further  east,  learning  of  the  over- 
whelming odds  against  them,  fell  back  into  Uru-san,  which  was 
already  manned  by  a  detachment  of  Kato's  corps. 

While  Kato  and  Katsuyoshi  were  at  Chin-zen,  a  grand  tiger 
hunt  was  proposed  and  carried  out,  in  which  a  soldier  was  bitten 
in  two  places  and  died.  The  army  agreed  that  tiger-hunting  re- 
quired much  nerve  and  valor.  Besides  the  tiger  steaks,  which  they 
ate,  much  fresh  meat  was  furnished  by  the  numerous  crane,  pheas- 
ants, ind  "  the  ten  thousand  things  different  from  those  in  Japan," 
which  they  made  use  of  to  eke  out  their  scanty  rations. 

To  remain  in  camp  until  the  Han  River  was  frozen  over,  and 
could  be  crossed  easily,  or  to  press  on  at  once,  was  the  question 
now  considered  by  the  Japanese.  While  thus  debating,  word 
came  that  the  Chinese  armies  had  made  junction  at  Seoul,  and 
numbered  one  hundred  thousand  men.  The  Japanese  "  felt  cold 
in  their  breasts  "  when  they  heard  this.  Far  from  their  base  of 
supplies,  their  fleet  destroyed,  and  they  at  the  threshold  of  winter 
in  a  famine-stricken  land,  they  were  forced,  reluctantly,  again  to 
retreat  into  Kiung-sang. 

This  turning  their  backs  on  Seoul  was,  in  reality,  the  begin- 
ning of  their  march  homeward.  The  invaders,  therefore,  enriched 
them  selves  with  the  spoil  of  houses  and  temples  as  they  moved 
toward  the  coast — gold  and  silver  brocades,  rolls  of  silk,  paint- 
ings, works  of  art,  precious  manuscripts,  books  written  with  gold 
letters  on  azure  paper,  inlaid  weapons  and  armor,  rich  mantles, 
and  whatever,  in  this  long-settled  and  wealthy  province,  pleased 
their  fancy.  On  the  boundaries  of  roads  and  provinces  they  no- 
ticed large  dressed  stone  columns  of  an  octagonal  form,  with  in- 
scri]  itions  upon  them.  Their  route  lay  from  Chin-zen,  which  they 
left  in  ashes,  on  October  25th,  to  Chin-nan  ;  to  Ho-won  ;  to  Ho- 
kin :  to  Karon  ;  reaching  Kion-chiu,  the  old  capital  of  Shinra, 
after  some  fighting  along  the  way. 

The  Japanese  were  impressed  with  the  size  and  grandeur  of 
the  buildings  in  this  old  seat  of  the  civilization  and  learning  of 
Shii  ra  and  Korai.  Here,  in  ancient  days,  was  the  focus  of  the 
arts  letters,  religion,  and  science  which,  from  the  west,  the  far  off 
mysterious  land  of  India,  and  the  nearer,  yet  august,  empire  of 
China,  had  been  brought  to  Corea.  Here,  too,  their  own  ancient 
mikados  had  sent  embassies,  and  from  this  historic  city  had  radia- 

136  COREA. 

ted  the  influences  of  civilization  into  Japan.  As  Buddhism  had 
been  the  dominant  faith  of  Shinra  and  Korai,  this  was  the  old 
sacred  city  of  the  peninsula,  and  among  the  historic  edifices  still 
standing  and  most  admired  were  the  halls  and  pagodas  of  the 
Eternal  Buddha.  Kion-chiu  was  to  the  Japanese  very  much  what 
London  is  to  an  American,  Geneva  to  a  Protestant,  or  Dordrecht 
to  a  Hollander.  Yet,  in  spite  of  all  classic  associations,  the  city 
was  wantonly  destroyed.  On  the  morning  of  November  2d,  be- 
ginning at  the  magnificent  temples,  the  whole  city  was  given  to 
the  torch.  Three  hundred  thousand  dwellings  were  burned,  and 
the  flames  lighted  up  the  long  night  with  the  glare  of  day. 

The  next  morning,  turning  their  backs  on  the  gray  waste  of 
ashes,  they  resumed  their  march.  Kokio,  Kunoi,  Sin-ne  were 
passed  through.  Skirmishing  and  the  destruction  of  castles,  and 
the  burning  of  granaries,  were  the  pastimes  enjoyed  between 
camps.  On  November  18th  the  army  reached  a  river,  where  the 
Coreans  made  an  unsuccessful  night  attack,  repeating  the  same  in 
the  morning,  while  the  Japanese  were  crossing  the  stream,  with 
the  same  negative  results. 

Thence  through  Yei-tan,  they  came  to  Keku-shiu,  another 
famous  old  seat  of  Shinra' s  ancient  grandeur.  The  beautiful  situa- 
tion and  rich  appearance  of  the  city  charmed  the  invaders,  who 
lingered  long  in  the  deserted  streets  before  applying  the  torch. 
The  "  three  hundred  thousand  houses  of  the  people  "  were  clus- 
tered around  the  great  Buddhist  temple  in  the  centre.  The  clock- 
tower,  eighteen  stories  high,  was  especially  admired.  The  massive 
swinging  beam  by  which  the  tongueless  bells,  or  gongs,  of  the 
Far  East  are  made  to  boom  out  the  hours,  struck  against  a  huge 
bronze  lotus  eight  or  nine  feet  in  diameter.  This  sacred  flower 
of  the  Buddhist  emblem  of  peace  and  calm  in  Nirvana  had  in 
Corean  art  taken  the  place  of  the  suspended  bell,  being  most 
probably  a  cup-shaped  mass  of  metal  set  with  mouth  upright,  or 
like  a  bell  turned  upside  down — such  being  the  form  often  seen 
in  the  temples  of  Chinese  Asia.  Again  did  antiquity,  religion,  or 
the  promptings  of  mercy  fail  to  restrain  the  invaders.  Securing 
what  spoils  they  cared  for,  everything  else  was  burned  up. 

After  camping  at  Kiran,  they  reached  the  sea-coast,  at  Uru-san, 
November  18th. 



THE  Japanese  now  took  up  the  spade  as  their  immediate  wea- 
pon of  defence  against  the  infuriated  Coreans  and  the  avenging 
Chinese.  A  force  of  twenty-three  thousand  men  was  at  once  set 
to  work,  "  without  regard  to  wind  or  rain,"  along  the  lines  marked 
out  by  the  Japanese  engineers.  To  furnish  the  wood  for  towers, 
gateis  huts,  and  engines,  a  party  of  two  thousand  axemen  and  la- 
borers, guarded  by  twenty-eight  mounted  pickets  and  three  hun- 
dred matchlock  men,  with  seven  flags,  went  daily  into  the  forest. 

The  winter  huts  were  hastily  erected,  walls  thrown  up,  ditches 
dug,  towers  built,  and  sentinels  and  watch  stations  set.  The  work 
went  on  from  earliest  daybreak  till  latest  twilight,  the  carpenters 
so  suffering  from  the  cold  that  "their  finger  nails  dropped  off." 
By  the  first  part  of  January  the  castle  was  almost  completed. 
From  the  eleventh  day  the  garrison  took  rest. 

The  fortress  was  three-sided,  the  south  face  lying  on  the  sea. 
The  total  line  of  works  was  about  three  and  a  half  miles,  pierced 
by  tJiree  gates.  The  inner  defences  were  in  three  parts,  or  maru. 
The  third  maru,  or  enclosure,  had  stone  walls,  one  tower  and  one 
gate  ;  the  second  had  two  towers,  two  gates  ;  and  the  first  or 
chief  citadel  had  stone  walls,  forty-eight  feet  high,  with  two  towers 
and  two  gates. 

The  war  operations,  which  had  hitherto  covered  large  spaces 
of  the  country,  now  found  the  pivot  at  this  place  situated  in  Ki'ung- 
sang,  on  the  sea-coast,  thirty-five  miles  north  of  Fusan.  Another 
commander,  Asano,  marched  to  assist  the  garrison  and  entered 
the  castle  before  the  Ming  army  arrived.  His  advance  guard,  while 
reconnoitring,  was  defeated  by  the  Coreans,  yet  he  succeeded,  by 
an  iaapetuous  charge,  in  entering  the  castle. 

The  Chinese,  smarting  under  their  losses  at  Chin-sen,  and  stung 
by  the  gibes  of  the  Coreans,  now  hastened  to  Uru-san,  to  swallow 
up  the  Japanese.  The  Corean  army,  which  had  been  collecting 



around  the  Japanese  camps,  were  soon  joined  by  the  advance 
guard  of  the  Ming  army.  The  arrival  of  the  Chinese  forces  was 
made  known  in  the  following  manner. 

A  Japanese  captain  commanded  one  of  the  advance  pickets, 

nun  una   us!                                                                       tmn  nnn  nml 


1§'                                           ft 

rmn  rrrm  rrrm      ^^^ 

S         i 

1             Q            Ni 




rmn   rmn      ( 





onm  am  tun 


—  G  1 




-^~~                                                                                                        '»'    IT    TD>           GT    TEf'      ,i                                                                         ^^^  I 

Plan  of  Uru-san  Castle. — Explanation:  Hon,  First  Enclosure;   Ni,  Second;  San,  Third;  G,  Gates; 
inns  Bodies  of  Troops. 

which  had  their  quarters  in  the  cloisters  of  Ankokuji  (Temple  of 
the  Peaceful  Country).  One  night  a  board,  inscribed  with  Chi- 
nese characters,  was  set  up  before  the  gate  of  the  camp.  The  sol- 
diers, seeing  it  in  the  morning,  but  unable  to  read  Chinese,  car- 


ried  it  to  their  captain,  who  handed  it  to  his  priest-secretary.  The 
board  contained  a  warning  that  the  Chinese  were  near  and  would 
soon  attack  Uru-san.  Betraying  no  emotion  and  saying  nothing, 
the  captain  soon  after  declared  himself  on  the  sick-list,  and  se- 
cretly absconded  to  Fusan.  The  truth  was,  that  an  overwhelm- 
ing Ming  army  was  now  in  front  of  them  and  their  purpose  to  in- 
vest tte  castle  was  thus  published.  The  entire  Japanese  forces 
were  r  ow  gathered  close  under  the  walls,  or  inside  the  castle,  and 
the  sertinels  were  doubled. 

On  the  morning  of  January  30th  the  Ming  army  suddenly  as- 
saulted the  castle.  A  small  detachment,  evidently  a  decoy  and 
forlorn  hope,  attempting  to  scale  the  walls,  was  driven  back  by  the 
matchlock  men  and  began  to  retreat.  Seeing  this,  the  Japanese 
recklessly  opened  the  barbican  gate  and  began  pursuit  of  their 
enemies,  thinking  they  were  only  Coreans.  Lured  on  to  a  dis- 
tance, they  suddenly  found  themselves  encircled  by  a  mighty  host 
By  their  black  and  yellow  standards,  and  their  excellent  tactics, 
the  Japanese  officers  saw  that  they  were  Ming  soldiers.  The  dust 
raised  by  the  horse's  of  the  oncoming  enemy  seemed  to  the  garri- 
son as  high  as  Atago  Mountain  in  Japan.  They  now  knew  that 
eighty  thousand  Chinese  were  before  their  gates.  Only  after  hard 
fighting,  was  the  remnant  of  the  Japanese  sortie  enabled  to  get 
back  within  the  castle,  while  the  allies,  surrounding  the  walls, 
fought  as  fiercely  as  if  they  intended  to  take  it  by  immediate  as- 
sault. Some  of  the  bravest  leaders  of  the  garrison  fell  outside, 
but  nc  sooner  were  the  gates  locked  than  Katsuyoshi,  without  ex- 
tractiEg  the  two  arrows  from  his  wounds,  or  stanching  the  blood, 
posted  the  defenders  on  the  walls  in  position.  Ogawuchi  had  per- 
formed the  hazardous  feat  of  sallying  out  and  firing  most  of  the 
outside  camps.  He  re-entered  the  castle  with  arrows  in  his  clothes, 
but  received  no  wounds.  The  battle  raged  until  night,  when  the 
Chinese  drew  off. 

The  Japanese  had  suffered  fearfully  by  the  first  combat  beyond 
and  on  the  walls.  "  There  was  none  but  had  been  shot  at  by  five 
or  ten  or  fifteen  arrows."  One  of  their  captains  reckoned  their 
loss  ar,  eighteen  thousand  three  hundred  and  sixty  men,  which 
left  them  but  a  garrison  of  five  thousand  fighting  men.  A  large 
numbor  of  non-combatants,  including  many  of  the  friendly  people 
of  the  neighborhood,  had  crowded  into  the  fortifications,  and  had 
to  be  t'ed. 

Food  growing  scarcer,  and  danger  increasing,  Asano  sent  word 

140  COREA. 

to  Kato  for  help.  On  a  fleet  horse  the  messenger  arrived,  after  a 
ride  of  two  days.  Kato  had,  in  Japan,  taken  oath  to  Asano's 
father  to  help  him  in  every  strait.  Immediately,  with  seventy 
picked  companions,  he  put  out  to  sea  in  seven  boats,  and,  after 
hard  rowing,  succeeded  in  entering  the  castle. 

On  January  31,  1598,  the  war-conch  sounded  in  the  Ming  camp, 
as  the  signal  of  attack,  and  the  ears  of  the  besieged  were  soon 
deafened  by  the  yells  of  the  "  eighty  thousand  "  besiegers.  The 
Japanese  were  at  first  terrified  at  the  clouds  of  dust,  through 
which  the  awiul  sight  of  ranks  of  men,  twenty  deep,  were  on  all 
sides  visible.  The  enemy,  armed  with  shields  shaped  like  a  fowl's 
wings,  upon  which  they  received  the  missiles  of  the  garrison, 
charged  on  the  outer  works,  but  when  into  and  on  the  slope  of  the 
ditch,  flung  their  shields  away,  and  plied  axe,  knife,  sword,  and 
lance.  Though  seven  attacks  were  repulsed,  the  wall  was  breached, 
the  outer  works  were  gained  by  overwhelming  numbers,  and  the 
garrison  was  driven  into  the  inner  enclosure. 

Night  fell  upon  the  work  of  blood,  but  at  early  morn,  the 
enemy  waked  the  garrison  with  showers  of  arrows,  and  with  lad- 
ders and  hurdles  of  bamboo,  tried  to  scale  the  walls.  In  four 
hours,  seven  attacks  in  force  had  been  repulsed,  yet  the  fighting 
went  on.  In  spite  of  the  intense  cold,  the  soldiers  perspired  so 
that  the  sweat  froze  on  their  armor.  Over  their  own  heaps  of 
corpses  the  Chinese  attempted  to  force  one  of  the  gates',  while, 
from  the  walls  of  the  inner  citadel,  and  from  the  higher  gate  above 
them,  the  Japanese  smote  them.  The  next  day  the  carnage  ceased 
from  the  third  to  the  ninth  hour.  On  February  3d,  the  Chinese, 
with  their  ladders,  were  again  repulsed.  At  night  their  sentinels 
"  gathered  hoar-frost  on  their  helmets,"  while  guarding  the  night 
long  against  the  sortie,  which  they  feared.  Another  attack  from 
the  clouds  of  enemies  kept  up  the  work  of  killing.  Some  of  the 
Japanese  warriors  now  noticed  that  their  stockings  and  greave- 
bands  kept  slipping  down,  though  adjusted  repeatedly.  The  fact 
was  their  flesh  had  shrunk  until  their  bones  were  nearly  visible, 
and  "their  legs  were  as  lean  as  bamboo  sticks."  Another  warrior, 
taking  off  his  helmet  and  vizor,  was  seen  to  have  a  face  so  thin 
and  wizen  that  he  reminded  his  comrades  of  one  of  those  hungry 
demons  of  the  nether  world,  which  they  had  seen  so  often  depicted 
in  temple  pictures  at  home. 

On  February  5th,  the  Ming  generals,  who  had  looked  upon  the 
reduction  of  Uru-san  as  a  small  affair  to  be  settled  by  the  way,  and 


vexed  at  not  having  been  able  to  take  it  by  one  assault,  tried  ne- 
gotiation. In  fact,  they  were  suffering  from  lack  of  provisions. 
The  Japanese  sent  back  a  defiant  answer,  and  some  of  them  prof- 
ited by  the  lull  in  the  fighting  to  make  fires  of  broken  arrows  and 
lances,  to  strip  the  armor  from  the  dead  and  frozen  carcasses  of 
their  steeds,  and  enjoy  a  dinner  of  hot  horse-meat.  The  vast  num- 
ber of  shafts  that  had  fallen  within  the  walls,  were  gathered  into 
stacks,  and  those  damaged  were  reserved  for  fuel.  Outside  the 
citadel,  they  lay  under  the  wall  in  heaps  many  feet  high. 

The  next  day,  February  6th,  was  one  of  quiet,  but  it  was  in- 
tensely cold,  and  many  of  the  worn  out  soldiers  of  the  garrison 
died.  Sitting  under  the  sunny  side  of  the  towers  for  warmth,  they 
were  found  in  this  position  frozen  to  death.  Yet  amid  all  the  suf- 
fering, the  Japanese  jested  with  each  other,  poured  out  mutual 
components,  and  kept  light  hearts  and  defiant  spirits. 

A  C3uncil  of  war  had  been  held  February  2d,  at  Fusan,  and  a 
messenger  sent  to  encourage  the  garrison.  By  some  means  he  was 
able  to  communicate  with  his  beleaguered  brethren.  With  helmets 
off,  the  leaders  listened  to  the  words  of  cheer  and  praise,  and 
promised  to  hold  out  yet  longer. 

Wtile  the  lull  or  truce  was  in  force,  the  Chinese  were,  accord- 
ing to  Ogawuchi,  plotting  to  entrap  the  Japanese  leaders.  This 
they  learned  from  one  Okomoto,  a  native  of  Japan,  who  had  lived 
long  i:i  China,  and  was  a  division  commander  of  eight  thousand 
men  in  the  Chinese  army.  He  it  was  who  first  brought  the  offers 
of  accommodation  from  the  Ming  side.  The  Chinese  proposed  to 
get  th(  Japanese  leaders  to  come  out  of  their  citadel,  leave  their 
horses  and  weapons  at  a  certain  place,  and  go  to  the  altar  to 
swear  oefore  Heaven  to  keep  the  peace.  Then  the  Chinese  were 
to  suriound  and  make  prisoners  of  the  Japanese.  Okomoto' s  soul 
recoiled  at  the  perfidy.  Going  by  night  to  the  side  of  the  castle 
near  t  je  hills,  he  was  admitted  in  the  citadel,  and  exposing  the 
plot,  gave  warning  of  the  danger.  A  profound  impression  was 
produi  :ed  on  the  grateful  leaders,  who  immediately  made  a  plan  to 
show  1  heir  gratitude  to  Okomoto.  They  swore  by  all  the  gods  to 
reward  also  his  sons  and  daughters  who  were  still  living  in  Japan. 
When  this  fact  was  made  known  to  him,  he  burst  into  tears  and 
said  te  had  never  forgotten  his  wife  or  children  ;  though  he  saw 
them  often  in  his  dreams,  yet  "  the  winds  brought  him  no  news." 

OE  the  following  morning  a  Chinese  ofiicer,  coming  to  the  foot 
of  the  wall,  made  signs  with  his  standard,  and  offered  the  same 

142  COREA. 

terms  in  detail  which  Okomoto  had  exposed.  The  Japanese  lead* 
ers  excused  themselves  on  the  plea  of  sickness,  and  the  parley 
came  to  nothing. 

Yet  the  sufferings  of  the  Japanese  were  growing  hourly  se- 
verer. To  half  rations  and  hunger  had  succeeded  famine,  and 
with  famine  came  actual  death  from  starvation.  Unfortunately 
there  was  no  well  in  the  castle,  so  the  Japanese  had  at  first  sallied 
out,  under  cover  of  the  night,  and  carried  water  from  the  mountain 
brooks.  The  Chinese,  discovering  this,  posted  archers  in  front  of 
every  accessible  stream,  and  thus  cut  off  all  approach  by  night  or 
day.  To  hunger  was  added  the  torture  of  thirst.  The  soldiers 
who  fought  by  day  stole  out  at  night  and  licked  the  wounds  of 
their  slain  enemies  and  even  secretly  chewed  the  raw  flesh  sliced 
from  the  corpses  of  the  Chinese.  Within  the  castle,  ingenuity  was 
taxed  to  the  utmost  to  provide  sustenance  from  the  most  unprom- 
ising substances.  The  famished  soldiers  chewed  paper,  trapped 
mice  and  ate  them,  killed  horses  and  devoured  every  part  of  them. 
Braving  the  arrows  of  the  Chinese  pickets,  they  wandered  at  night 
wherever  their  dead  enemies  lay,  and  searched  their  clothes  for 
stray  grains  of  parched  rice.  On  one  occasion  the  Chinese,  lying 
in  wait,  succeeded  in  capturing  one  hundred  of  the  garrison,  that 
were  prowling  like  ghouls  around  the  corpses  of  the  slain.  After 
this  the  commanders  forbade  any  soldier,  on  pain  of  death,  to 
leave  the  castle.  Yet  famine  held  revel  within,  and  scores  of 
starved  and  frozen  multiplied  into  hundreds,  until  room  for  the 
corpses  was  needed. 

Tidings  of  the  straits  of  the  dwindling  garrison  at  Uru-san  hav- 
ing reached  the  other  Japanese  commanders,  Nabeshima  and  Ku- 
roda,  they  marched  to  the  relief  of  their  compatriots.  One  of  the 
Chinese  generals,  Eijobai,  leaving  camp,  set  out  to  attack  them. 

The  foiled  Chinese  commander-in-chief,  angry  at  the  refusal  of 
the  Japanese  to  come  to  his  camp,  ordered  a  fresh  attack  on  the  cas- 
tle. This  time  fresh  detachments  took  the  places  of  others  when 
wearied.  The  day  seemed  shut  out  by  the  dust  of  horses,  the  smoke 
of  guns,  the  clouds  of  arrows,  and  the  masses  of  flags.  Again  the 
scaling  ladders  were  brought,  but  made  useless  by  the  vigilant  de- 
fenders in  armor  iced  with  frozen  sweat,  and  chafing  to  the  bone. 
Their  constant  labor  made  "'three  hours  seem  like  three  years." 
The  attack  was  kept  up  unceasingly  until  February  12th,  when 
the  exhausted  garrison  noticed  the  Chinese  retreating.  The  van 
of  the  reinforcements  from  Fusan  had  attacked  the  allies  in  the 


rear,  and  a  bloody  combat  was  raging.  At  about  the  same  time 
the  flaet,  laden  with  provisions,  was  on  its  way  and  near  the  starv- 
ing garrison. 

Next  morning  the  keen  eyes  of  their  commander  noticed  flocks 
of  wi~  d  birds  descending  on  the  Chinese  camp.  The  careful  scru- 
tiny of  the  actions  of  wild  fowl  formed  a  part  of  the  military  edu- 
cation of  all  Japanese,  and  they  inferred  at  once  that  the  camp  was 
empt^  and  the  birds,  attracted  by  the  refuse  food,  were  feeding 
without  fear.  Orders  were  immediately  given  to  a  detachment  to 
leave  the  castle  and  march  in  pursuit.  Passing  through  the  de- 
serted Ming  camp,  they  came  up  with  the  forces  of  Kuroda  and 
Nabeshima,  who  had  gained  a  great  victory  over  the  allies.  In 
this  battle  of  the  river  plain  of  Gisen,  February  9,  1598,  the  Jap- 
anese <  had  eighteen  thousand  men  engaged.  Their  victory  was 
complete,  thirteen  thousand  two  hundred  and  thirty-eight  heads 
of  Coreans  and  Chinese  being  collected  after  the  retreat  of  the 
allies.  The  noses  and  ears  were,  as  usual,  cut  off  and  packed  for 
shipment  to  Kioto. 

The  sufferings  of  the  valiant  defenders  were  now  over.  Help 
had  come  at  the  eleventh  hour.  For  fourteen  days  they  had 
tasted  neither  rice  nor  water,  except  that  melted  from  snow  or  ice. 
The  abundant  food  from  the  relief  ships  was  cautiously  dealt  out 
to  the  famished,  lest  sudden  plenty  should  cause  sudden  death. 
The  fleet  men  not  only  congratulated  the  garrison  on  their  brave 
defence,  but  decorated  the  battered  walls  with  innumerable  flags 
and  streamers,  while  they  revictualed  the  magazines.  On  the  ninth, 
the  garrison  went  on  the  ships  to  go  to  Sezukai,  another  part  of 
the  coast,  to  recruit  their  shattered  energies.  With  a  feeling  as  if 
raised  from  the  dead,  the  warriors  took  off  their  armor.  The  re- 
action of  the  fearful  strain  coming  at  once  upon  them,  they  found 
theD  Lselves  lame  and  unable  to  stand  or  sit.  Even  in  their  dreams, 
they  grappled  with  the  Ming,  and,  laying  their  hand  on  their 
sword,  fought  again  their  battles  in  the  land  of  dreams.  For  three 
years  afterward  they  did  not  cease  these  night  visions  of  war. 

According  to  orders  given,  the  number  of  the  dead  lying  on 
the  'xozen  ground,  within  two  or  three  furlongs  of  the  castle,  was 
counted,  and  found  to  be  fifteen  thousand  seven  hundred  and 
fifty  -four.  Of  the  Japanese,  who  had  starved  or  frozen  to  death, 
eight  hundred  and  ninety-seven  were  reported. 

]n  the  camp  of  the  allies,  crimination  and  recrimination  were 
goii  g  on,  the  Coreans  angry  at  being  foiled  before  Uru-san,  and  the 

144  COREA. 

Chinese  mortified  that  one  fortress,  with  its  garrison,  could  not 
have  been  taken.  They  made  their  plans  to  go  back  and  try  the  siege 
anew,  when  the  explosion  of  their  powder  magazine,  which  killed 
many  of  their  men,  changed  their  plans.  For  his  failure  the  Chi- 
nese commander-in-chief  was  cashiered  in  disgrace. 

On  May  10th  the  soldiers  of  the  garrison,  now  relieved,  left  for 
their  homes  in  Japan. 

Thus  ended  the  siege  of  Uru-san,  after  lasting  an  entire  year. 

After  this  nothing  of  much  importance  happened  during  the 
war.  The  invaders  had  suffered  severely  from  the  cold  and  the 
climate,  and  from  hunger  in  the  desolated  land.  Numerous  skir- 
mishes were  fought,  and  a  continual  guerilla  war  kept  up,  but, 
with  the  exception  of  another  naval  battle  between  the  Japanese 
and  Chinese,  in  which  artillery  was  freely  used,  there  was  nothing 
to  influence  the  fortunes  of  either  side.  In  this  state  of  inaction, 
Hideyoshi  fell  sick  and  died,  September  9,  1598,  at  the  age  of 
sixty-three.  Almost  his  last  words  were,  "  Recall  all  my  troops 
from  Cho-sen."  The  governors  appointed  by  him  to  carry  out  his 
policy  at  once  issued  orders  for  the  return  of  the  army.  The 
orders  to  embark  for  home  were  everywhere  gladly  heard  in  the 
Japanese  camps  by  the  soldiers  whose  sufferings  were  now  to  end. 
Before  leaving,  however,  many  of  the  Japanese  improved  every 
opportunity  to  have  a  farewell  brush  with  their  enemies. 

It  is  said,  by  a  trustworthy  writer,  that  214,752  human  bodies 
were  decapitated  to  furnish  the  ghastly  material  for  the  "  ear- 
tomb  "  mound  in  Kioto.  Ogawuchi  reckons  the  number  of  Co- 
rean  heads  gathered  for  mutilation  at  185,738,  and  of  Chinese 
at  29,014  ;  all  of  which  were  despoiled  of  ears  or  noses.  It  is 
probable  that  50,000  Japanese,  victims  of  wounds  or  disease, 
left  their  bones  in  Corea. 

Thus  ended  one  of  the  most  needless,  unprovoked,  cruel,  and 
desolating  wars  that  ever  cursed  Corea,  and  from  which  it  has 
taken  her  over  two  centuries  to  recover. 



THE  war  over,  and  peace  again  in  the  land,  the  fugitives  re- 
turne'l  to  their  homes  and  the  farmers  to  their  fields.  The  whole 
country  was  desolate,  the  scars  of  war  were  everywhere  visible, 
and  tie  curse  of  poverty  was  universal.  From  the  king  and  court, 
in  the  royal  city,  of  which  fire  had  left  little  but  ashes,  and  of 
whicl:  war  and  famine  had  spared  few  inhabitants,  to  the  peasant, 
who  lived  on  berries  and  roots  until  his  scanty  seed  rose  above 
the  ground  and  slowly  ripened,  all  now  suffered  the  woful  want 
whicl  the  war  had  bred.  Kind  nature,  however,  ceased  not  her 
bountiful  stores,  and  from  the  ever-ready  and  ever-full  treasuries 
of  th(  ocean,  fed  the  stricken  land. 

The  war  was  a  fruitful  cause  of  national  changes  in  Corean  cus- 
toms and  institutions.  The  first  was  the  more  thorough  organiza- 
tion of  the  military,  the  rebuilding  and  strengthening  of  old  cas- 
Hes,  !ind  the  erection  of  new  ones  ;  though,  like  most  measures  of 
the  g  :>vernment,  the  proposed  reforms  were  never  properly  carried 
out.  The  coasts  were  guarded  with  fresh  vigilance.  Upon  one 
of  the  Corean  commanders,  who  had  been  many  times  successful 
against  the  Japanese,  a  new  title  and  office  was  created,  and  the 
coast  defence  of  the  three  southern  provinces  was  committed  to  him. 
This  title  was  subsequently  conferred  upon  three  officials  whose 
head*  [uarters  were  at  points  in  Kiung-sang.  Among  the  literary 
fruits  of  the  leisure  now  afforded  was  the  narrative,  in  Chinese,  of 
the  e  /ents  leading  to  the  war  with  the  Japanese,  written  by  a  high 
digni  tary  of  the  court,  and  covering  the  period  from  about  1586  to 
1598.  This  is,  perhaps,  the  only  book  reprinted  in  Japan,  which  gives 
the  C  orean  side  of  the  war.  In  his  preface  the  excessively  modest 
author  states  that  he  writes  the  book  "because  men  ought  to  look 
at  the  present  in  the  mirror  of  the  past."  The  Chinese  style  of 
this  ^vriter  is  difficult  for  an  ordinary  Japanese  to  read.  The  book 
(Cho'iitsuroku)  contains  a  curious  map  of  the  eight  provinces. 

146  CORE  A. 

In  Japan  the  energies  of  the  returned  warriors  were  fully  em- 
ployed at  home  after  their  withdrawal  from  Corea.  The  adher- 
ents of  Taiko  and  those  of  lyeyasu,  the  rising  man,  came  to  blows, 
and  at  the  great  battle  of  Sekigahara,  in  October,  1600,  lyeyasu 
crushed  his  foes.  Many  of  the  heroes  of  the  peninsular  campaign 
fell  on  the  field ;  or,  as  beaten  men,  disembowelled  themselves, 
according  to  the  Japanese  code  of  honor. 

Konishi,  being  a  Christian,  and  unable,  from  conscientious 
scruples,  to  commit  suicide  by  hara  kiri,  was  decapitated.  The 
humbled  spirit  and  turbulent  wrath  of  Satsuma  were  appeased, 
and  given  a  valve  of  escape  in  the  permission  accorded  them  to 
make  definite  conquest  of  Kiu  Kiu.  This  was  done  by  a  well- 
planned  and  vigorously  executed  expedition  in  1609,  by  which  the 
little  archipelago  was  made  an  integral  part  of  the  Japanese  em- 
pire. When  retiring  from  Cho-sen,  in  1597,  the  daimio  and  gen- 
eral Nabeshima  requited  himself  for  the  possible  loss  of  further 
military  glory,  by  bringing  over  and  settling  in  Satsuma  a  colony 
of  Corean  potters.  He  builded  better  than  he  knew,  for  in  found- 
ing these  industries  in  his  own  domain,  he  became  the  prime 
author  of  that  delight  of  the  aesthetic  world,  "old  Satsuma  faience." 
Other  daimios,  in  whose  domains  were  potteries,  likewise  trans- 
ported skilled  workers  in  clay,  who  afterward  brought  fame  and 
money  to  their  masters.  On  the  other  hand,  lyeyasu  sent  back  the 
Corean  prisoners  in  Japan  to  their  own  homes. 

The  spoil  brought  back  from  the  peninsular  campaign — wea- 
pons, flags,  brocades,  porcelains,  carvings,  pictures,  and  manu- 
scripts was  duly  deposited,  with  certifying  documents,  in  temples 
and  storehouses,  or  garnished  the  home  of  the  veterans  for  the 
benefit  of  posterity.  Some,  with  a  literary  turn,  employed  their 
leisure  in  writing  out  their  notes  and  journals,  several  of  which 
have  survived  the  wreck  of  time.  Some,  under  an  artistic  impulse, 
had  made  valuable  sketches  of  cities,  'scenery,  battle-fields,  and 
castles,  which  they  now  finished.  A  few  of  the  victors  shore  off 
their  queues  and  hair,  and  became  monks.  Others,  with  perhaps 
equal  piety,  hung  up  the  arrow-pierced  helmet,  or  corslet  slashed 
by  Chinese  sabre,  as  ex-voto  at  the  local  shrines.  The  writer  can 
bear  personal  witness  to  the  interest 'which  many  of  these  authen- 
tic relics  inspired  in  him  while  engaged  in  their  study.  In  1878, 
a  large  collection  of  various  relics  of  the  Corean  war  of  1592- 
1597  came  into  the  possession  of  the  mikado's  government  in 
Tokio,  from  the  heirs  or  descendants  of  the  veterans  of  Taiko.  In 


Kioto,  besides  the  Ear-monument,  the  Hall  of  the  Founder,  in  one 
of  tho  great  Buddhist  temples,  rebuilt  by  the  widow  of  Taiko, 
was  ceiled  with  the  choice  wood  of  the  war  junk  built  for  the 

Though  the  peninsula  was  not  open  to  trade  or  Christianity,  it 
was  not  for  lack  of  thought  or  attention  on  the  part  of  merchant 
or  missionary. 

In  England,  a  project  was  formed  to  establish  a  trading-sta- 
tion ii  Japan,  and,  if  there  was  a  possibility,  in  Corea  also,  or,  at 
least,  to  see  what  could  be  done  in  "the  island" — as  Corea  then, 
and  for  a  long  time  afterward,  was  believed  to  be.  Through  the 
Dutch,  the  Jesuits,  and  their  countryman,  Will  Adams,  in  Japan, 
they  had  heard  of  the  Japanese  war,  and  of  Corea.  Captain  Saris 
arrived  off  Hirado  Island  about  the  middle  of  June,  1613,  with  a 
cargo  of  pepper,  broadcloth,  gunpowder,  and  English  goods.  In 
a  galley,  carrying  twenty-five  oars  and  manned  by  sixty  men  fur- 
nished by  the  daimio,  Saris  and  his  company  of  seventeen  Eng- 
lishmen set  out  to  visit  the  lyeyasu  at  Yedo,  by  way  of  Suruga 
(now  Shidzuoka).  After  two  days'  rowing  along  the  coast,  they 
stopped  for  dinner  in  the  large  and  handsome  city  of  Hakata  (or 
Fukuoka),  the  city  being,  in  reality,  double.  As  the  Englishmen 
walked  about  to  see  the  sights,  the  boys,  children,  and  worse  sort 
of  idle  people  would  gather  about  them,  crying  out,  "Core,  Core, 
Cocore  Ware  "  (Oh  you  Coreans,  Coreans,  you  Kokorai  men),  taunt- 
ing them  by  these  words  as  Coreans  with  false  hearts,  whooping, 
holloaing,  and  making  such  a  noise  that  the  English  could  hardly 
hear  each  other  speak.  In  some  places,  the  people  threw  stones 
at  these  "Corean  "  Englishmen.  Hakata  was  one  of  the  towns  at 
which  the  embassy  from  Seoul  stopped  while  on  its  way  to  Yedo, 
and  I  he  incident  shows  clearly  that  the  Japanese  urchins  and 
common  people  had  not  forgotten  the  reputed  perfidy  of  the  Co- 
reans, while  they  also  supposed  that  any  foreigner,  not  a  Portu- 
guese, with  whom  they  were  familiar,  must  be  a  Corean.  In  the 
same  manner,  at  Nankin,  for  a  long  while  all  foreigners,  even 
Americans,  were  called  "Japanese." 

Nothing  was  done  by  Saris,  so  far  as  is  known,  to  explore  or 
open  Oorea  to  Western  commerce,  although  the  last  one  of  the  eight 
clauses  of  the  articles  of  license  to  trade,  given  him  by  lyeyasii, 
was,  'And  that  further,  without  passport,  they  may  and  shall  set 
out  upon  the  discovery  of  Yeadzo  (Yezo),  or  any  other  part  in  and 
about  our  empire."  By  the  last  clause  any  Japanese  would  un- 

148  COREA. 

derstand  Corea  and  Kiu  Kiu  as  being  land  belonging  to,  but  out- 
side of  "  civilized  "  Nippon. 

After  leaving  Nagasaki,  and  calling  at  Bantam,  Saris  took  in  a 
load  of  pepper,  and  sailed  for  England,  reaching  Plymouth  Sep- 
tember 27,  1614. 

An  attempt  was  also  made  by  the  Dominican  order  of  friars  to 
establish  a  mission  in  Corea.  Vincent  (Caun),  the  ward  of  Ko- 
nishi,  who  had  been  educated  and  sent  over  by  the  Jesuits  to  plant 
Christianity  among  his  countrymen,  reached  Peking  and  there 
waited  four  years  to  accomplish  his  purposes,  but  could  not, 
owing  to  the  presence  of  the  hostile  Manchius  in  Liao  Tung.  But 
just  as  he  was  returning  to  Japan,  in  1618,  another  attempt  was 
made  by  the  Dominican  friars  to  penetrate  the  sealed  land.  Juan 
de  Saint  Dominique,  a  Castilian  Spaniard,  who  had  labored  as  a 
missionary  in  the  Philippine  Islands  since  1601,  was  the  chosen 
man.  Having  secured  rapid  mastery  of  the  languages  of  the 
Malay  archipelago,  he  was  selected  as  one  well  fitted  to  acquire 
Corean.  With  two  others  of  the  same  fraternity  he  embarked  for 
the  shores  of  Morning  Calm.  For  some  reason,  not  known,  they 
could  not  land  in  Corea,  and  so  passed  over  to  Japan,  where  the 
next  year,  March  19th,  having  met  persecution,  Dominique  died 
in  prison.  The  ashes  of  his  body,  taken  from  the  cremation  fur- 
nace, were  cast  in  the  sea  ;  but  his  followers,  having  been  able  to 
save  from  the  fire  a  hand  and  a  foot,  kept  the  ghastly  remnants  as 
holy  relics. 

The  exact  relations  of  "the  conquering  and  the  vassal  state," 
as  the  Japanese  would  say,  that  is,  of  Nihon  and  Cho-sen,  were  not 
definitely  fixed,  nor  the  menace  of  war  withdrawn,  until  the  last 
of  the  line  of  Taiko  died,  and  the-  family  became  extinct  by  the 
death  of  Hideyori,  the  son  of  Taiko,  in  1612. 

There  is  not  a  particle  of  evidence  that  the  conquerors  ever  ex- 
acted an  annual  tribute  of  "thirty  human  hides,"  as  stated  by  a 
recent  French  writer.  While  lyeyasii  had  his  hands  full  in  Japan, 
he  paid  little  attention  to  the  country  which  Taiko  had  used  as  a 
cockpit  for  the  Christians.  lyeyasii  dealt  with  the  Jesuit,  the 
Christian,  and  the  foreigner,  in  a  manner  different  from,  and  for 
obvious  reasons  with  success  greater  than,  that  of  Taiko.  He  uni- 
fied Japan,  re-established  the  dual  system  of  mikado  and  sho-gun, 
with  two  capitals  and  two  centres  of  authority,  Kioto  and  Yedo. 
He  cleared  the  ground  for  his  grandson  lyemitsu,  who  at  once 
summoned  the  Coreans  to  renew  tributary  relations  and  pay  horn- 


age  to  him  at  Yedo.  Magnifying  his  authority,  he  sent,  in  1623, 
a  letier  to  the  King  of  Corea,  in  which  he  styles  himself  Tai-kun 
("Tycoon  "),  or  Great  Prince.  This  is  the  equivalent  in  Chinese 
pronunciation  of  the  pure  Japanese  O-gimi,  an  ancient  title  applied 
only  to  the  mikado.  No  assumption  or  presumption  of  pomp  and 
power  was,  however,  scrupled  at  by  the  successors  of  lyeyasu. 

The  title  "Tycoon,"  too,  was  intended  to  overawe  the  Coreans, 
as  being  even  higher  than  the  title  Koku  0  (king  of  a  [tributary] 
country),  which  their  sovereign  and  the  Ashikaga  line  of  rulers 
held  by  patents  from  the  Emperor  of  China,  and  which  Taiko  had 
sconlully  refused. 

The  court  at  Seoul  responded  to  the  call,  and,  in  1624,  sent  an 
embassy  with  congratulations  and  costly  presents.  The  envoys 
landed  in  Hizen,  and  made  their  journey  overland,  taking  the 
same  route  so  often  traversed  by  the  Hollanders  at  Deshima,  and 
described  by  Kaempfer,  Thunberg,  and  others.  A  sketch  by  a  Yedo 
artist  has  depicted  the  gorgeous  scene  in  the  castle  of  the  "  Ty- 
coon "  Seated  on  silken  cushions,  on  a  raised  dais,  behind  the 
bamboo  curtains,  with  sword-bearer  in  his  rear,  in  presence  of  his 
lords,  all  in  imitation  of  the  imperial  throne  room  in  Kioto,  the 
haughty  ruler  received  from  the  Corean  envoy  the  symbol  of  vas- 
salag  e — a  gohei  or  wand  on  which  strips  of  white  paper  are  hung. 
Then  followed  the  official  banquet. 

Since  the  invasion,  Fusan,  as  before,  had  been  held  and  garri- 
soned by  the  retainers  of  the  daimio  of  Tsushima.  At  this  port 
all  the  commerce  between  the  two  nations  took  place.  The  inter- 
change of  commodities  was  established  on  an  amicable  basis.  Jap- 
aneso  swords,  military  equipments,  works  of  art,  and  raw  prod- 
ucts were  exchanged  for  Corean  merchandise.  Having  felt  the 
pow(  r  of  the  eastern  sword-blades,  and  unable  to  perfect  their 
own  clumsy  iron  hangers,  either  in  temper,  edge,  or  material,  they 
gladly  bought  of  the  Japanese,  keeping  their  sword-makers  busy. 
Kaempfer,  who  was  at  Nagasaki  from  September  24,  1690,  to  No- 
vember, 1692,  tells  us  that  the  Japanese  imported  from  Fusan 
scare- e  medicinal  plants,  especially  ginseng,  walnuts,  and  fruits ; 
the  "best  pickled  fish,  and  some  few  manufactures ;  among  which 
was  "  a  certain  sort  of  earthen  pots  made  in  Japij  and  Ninke, 
two  Tartarian  provinces."  These  ceramic  oddities  were  "much 
esteemed  by  the  Japanese,  and  bought  very  dear." 

From  an  American  or  British  point  of  view,  there  was  little 
tradi  $  done  between  the  two  countries,  but  on  the  strength  of  even 

150  COREA. 

this  small  amount,  Earl  Eussell,  in  1862,  tried  to  get  Great  Britain 
included  as  a  co-trader  between  Japan  and  Corea.  He  was  not  suc- 
cessful. Provision  was  also  made  for  those  who  might  be  cast,  by 
the  perils  of  the  sea,  upon  the  shore  of  either  country.  At  the  ex- 
pense of  the  Yedo  government  a  Gho-sen  Yashiki  (Corean  House), 
was  built  at  Nagasaki.  From  whatever  part  of  the  Japanese  shores 
the  waifs  were  picked  up,  they  were  sent  to  Nagasaki,  fed  and 
sheltered  until  a  junk  could  be  despatched  to  Fusan.  These  un- 
fortunates were  mostly  fishermen,  who,  in  some  cases,  had  their 
wives  and  children  with  them.  It  was  from  such  that  Siebold  ob- 
tained the  materials  for  his  notes,  vocabulary,  and  sketches  in  the 
Corean  department  of  his  great  Archiv. 

The  possession  of  Fusan  by  the  Japanese  was,  until  1876,  a 
perpetual  witness  of  the  humiliating  defeat  of  the  Coreans  in  the 
war  of  1592-1597,  and  a  constant  irritation  to  their  national  pride. 
Their  popular  historians,  passing  over  the  facts  of  the  case,  substi- 
tute pleasing  fiction  to  gratify  the  popular  taste.  The  subjoined 
note  of  explanation,  given  by  Pallet,  attached  to  a  map  of  Corea 
of  home  manufacture,  thus  accounts  for  the  presence  of  the 
foreigners.  The  substance  of  the  note  is  as  follows  :  During  the 
sixteenth  century  many  of  the  barbarous  inhabitants  of  Tsushima 
left  that  island,  and,  coming  over  to  Corea,  established  themselves 
on  the  coast  of  Corea,  in  three  little  ports,  called  Fusan,  Yum,  and 
Chisi,  and  rapidly  increased  in  numbers.  About  five  years  after 
Chung-chong  ascended  the  throne,  the  barbarians  of  Fusan  and 
Yum  made  trouble.  They  destroyed  the  walls  of  the  city  of  Fusan, 
and  killed  also  the  city  governor,  named  Ni  Utsa.  Being  subdued 
by  the  royal  troops,  they  could  no  longer  live  in  these  ports,  but 
were  driven  into  the  interior.  A  short  time  afterward,  having 
asked  pardon  for  their  crimes,  they  obtained  it  and  came  and  es- 
tablished themselves  again  at  the  ports.  This  was  only  for  a  short 
time,  for  a  few  years  afterward,  a  little  before  the  year  1592,  they  all 
returned  to  their  country,  Tsushima.  In  the  year  1599  the  king, 
Syen-cho,  held  communication  with  the  Tsushima  barbarians.  It 
happened  that  he  invited  them  to  the  places  which  they  had 
quitted  on  the  coast  of  Corea,  built  houses  for  them,  treated  them 
with  great  kindness,  established  for  their  benefit  a  market  during 
five  days  in  each  month,  beginning  on  the  third  day  of  the  month, 
and  when  they  had  a  great  quantity  of  merchandise  on  hand  to 
dispose  of  he  even  permitted  them  to  hold  it  still  oftener. 

This  is  a  good  specimen  of  Corean  varnish-work  carried  into 


history.  The  rough  facts  are  smoothed  over  by  that  well-applied 
native  lacquer,  which  is  said  to  resemble  gold  to  the  eye.  The 
official  gloss  has  been  'smeared  over  more  modern  events  with 
equal  success,  and  even  defeat  is  turned  into  golden  victory. 

"Set,  with  all  the  miseries  inflicted  upon  her,  the  humble  nation 
learned  rich  lessons  and  gained  many  an  advantage  even  from  her 
enemy.  The  embassies,  which  were  yearly  despatched  to  yield 
.homage  to  their  late  invaders,  were  at  the  expense  of  the  latter. 
The  Japanese  pride  purchased,  at  a  dear  rate,  the  empty  bubble 
of  homage,  by  paying  all  the  bills.  We  may  even  suspect  that  a 
grim  joke  was  practised  upon  the  victors  by  the  vanquished. 
Year  by  year  they  swelled  the  pomp  and  numbers  of  their  train 
until,  finally,  it  reached  the  absurd  number  of  four  hundred  per- 
sons. With  imperturbable  effrontery  they  devastated  the  treasury 
of  their  "Tycoon."  To  receive  an  appointment  on  the  embassy  to 
Yedc  was  reckoned  a  rich  sinecure.  It  enabled  the  possessor  to 
enjoy  an  expensive  picnic  of  three  months,  two  of  which  were  at 
the  cost  of  the  entertainers.  Landing  in  Chikuzen,  or  Hizen, 
they  slowly  journeyed  overland  to  Yedo,  and,  after  their  merry- 
making in  the  capital,  leisurely  made  their  jaunt  back  again.  For 
nearly  a  century  the  Yedo  government  appeared  to  relish  the  sen- 
sation of  having  a  crowd  of  people  from  across  the  sea  come  to 
pay  homage  and  bear  witness  to  the  greatness  of  the  Tokugawa 
family.  In  1710  a  special  gateway  was  erected  in  the  castle  at 
Yedc  to  impress  the  embassy  from  Seoul,  who  were  to  arrive  next 
year,  with  the  serene  glory  of  the  sho-gun  lyenobu.  From  a  pa- 
vilion near  by  the  embassy's  quarters,  the  Tycoon  himself  was  a 
speciator  of  the  feats  of  archery,  on  horseback,  in  which  the  Co- 
reans  excelled.  The  intolerable  expense  at  last  compelled  the 
Yedc  rulers  to  dispense  with  such  costly  vassalage,  and  to  spoil 
what  was,  to  their  guests,  a  pleasant  game.  Ordering  them  to 
come  only  as  far  as  Tsushima,  they  were  entertained  by  the  So 
family  of  daimios,  who  were  allowed  by  the  "Tycoon  "  a  stipend 
in  geld  kobans  for  this  purpose. 

A  great  social  custom,  that  has  become  a  national  habit,  was 
introduced  by  the  Japanese  when  they  brought  over  the  tobacco 
plant  and  taught  its  properties,  culture,  and  use.  The  copious 
testii  aony  of  all  visitors,  and  the  rich  vocabulary  of  terms  relating 
to  tl.e  culture,  curing,  and  preparation  of  tobacco  show  that  the 
crop  that  is  yearly  raised  from  the  soil  merely  for  purposes  of 
wasto  in  smoke  is  very  large.  In  the  personal  equipment  of  every 

152  CORE  A. 

male  Corean,  and  often  in  that  of  women  and  children,  a  tobacco 
pouch  and  materials  for  firing  forms  an  indispensable  part.  The 
smoker  does  not  feel  "  dressed  "  without  his  well-filled  bag.  Into  the 
forms  of  hospitality,  the  requisites  of  threshold  gossip  and  social 
enjoyment,  and  for  all  other  purposes,  real  or  imaginary,  which 
nicotine  can  aid  or  abet,  tobacco  has  entered  not  merely  as  a  lux- 
ury or  ornament,  but  as  a  necessity. 

Another  great  change  for  the  better,  in  the  improvement  of  the 
national  garb,  dates  from  the  sixteenth  century,  and  very  probably 
from  the  Japanese  invasion.  This  was  the  introduction  of  the  cot- 
ton plant.  Hitherto,  silk  for  the  very  rich,  and  hemp  and  sea 
grass  for  the  middle  and  poorer  classes,  had  been  the  rule.  In 
the  north,  furs  were  worn  to  a  large  extent,  while  plaited  straw 
for  various  parts  of  the  limbs  served  for  clothing,  as  well  as  pro- 
tection against  storm  and  rain.  The  vegetable  fibres  were  bleached 
to  give  whiteness.  Cotton  now  began  to  be  generally  cultivated 
and  woven. 

It  is  true  that  authorities  do  not  agree  as  to  the  date  of  the 
first  use  of  this  plant.  Dallet  reports  that  cotton  was  formerly 
unknown  in  Corea,  but  was  grown  in  China,  and  that  the  Chinese, 
in  order  to  preserve  a  market  for  their  textile  fabrics  within  the 
peninsula,  rigorously  guarded,  with  all  possible  precautions,  against 
the  exportation  of  a  single  one  of  the  precious  seeds. 

One  of  the  members  of  the  annual  embassy  to  Peking,  with 
great  tact,  succeeded  in  procuring  a  few  grains  of  cotton  seed, 
which  he  concealed  in  the  quill  of  his  hat  feather.  Thus,  in  a 
manner  similar  to  the  traditional  account  of  the  bringing  of  silk- 
worms' eggs  inside  a  staff  to  Constantinople  from  China,  the  pre- 
cious shrub  reached  Corea  about  five  hundred  years  ago.  It  is 
now  cultivated  successfully  in  the  peninsula  in  latitude  far  above 
that  of  the  cotton  belt  in  America,  and  even  in  Manchuria,  the 
most  northern  limit  of  its  growth. 

It  is  evident  that  a  country  which  contains  cotton,  crocodiles, 
and  tigers,  cannot  have  a  very  bleak  climate.  It  seems  more 
probable  that  though  the  first  seeds  may  have  been  brought  from 
China,  the  cultivation  of  this  vegetable  wool  was  not  pursued  upon 
a  large  scale  until  after  the  Japanese  invasion.  Our  reasons  for  ques- 
tioning the  accuracy  of  the  date  given  in  the  common  tradition  is, 
that  it  is  certain  that  cotton  was  not  known  in  Northern  China  five 
hundred  years  ago.  It  was  introduced  into  Central  China  from 
Turkestan  in  the  fourteenth  century,  though  known  in  the  extreme 


soutfc  before  that  time.  The  Chinese  pay  divine  honors  to  one 
Hwang  Tao  Po,  the  reputed  instructress  in  the  art  of  spinning  and 
weaving  the  "tree-wool."  She  is  said  to  have  come  from  Hainan 

Though  cotton  was  first  brought  to  Japan  by  a  Hindoo,  in  the 
year  799,  yet  the  art  of  its  culture  seems  to  have  been  lost  during 
the  Jong  civil  wars  of  the  middle  ages.  The  fact  that  it  had 
become  extinct  is  shown  in  a  verse  of  poetry  composed  by  a  court 
noblf  in  1248.  "  The  cotton-seed,  that  was  planted  by  the  foreigner 
and  r  ot  by  the  natives,  has  died  away."  In  another  Japanese  book, 
written  about  1570,  it  is  stated  that  cotton  had  again  been  intro- 
duced and  planted  in  the  southern  provinces. 

Tlie  Portuguese,  trading  at  Nagasaki,  made  cotton  wool  a  fa- 
miliar object  to  the  Japanese  soldiers.  While  the  army  was  in 
Core.- 1  a  European  ship,  driven  far  out  of  her  course  and  much 
damaged  by  the  storm,  anchored  off  Yokohama.  Being  kindly 
treatod  while  refitting,  the  captain,  among  other  gifts  to  the 
daimio  of  the  province,  gave  him  a  bag  of  cotton  seeds,  which 
were  distributed.  The  yarn  selling  at  a  high  price,  the  culture  of 
the  shrub  spread  rapidly  through  the  provinces  of  Eastern  and 
Northern  Japan,  being  already  common  in  the  south  provinces. 
Even  if  the  culture  of  cotton  was  not  introduced  into  Corea  by 
the  Japanese  army,  it  is  certain  that  it  has  been  largely  exported 
from  Japan  during  the  last  two  centuries.  The  increase  of  gen- 
eral comfort  by  this  one  article  of  wear  and  use  can  hardly  be  es- 
timai  ed.  Not  only  as  wool  and  fibre,  but  in  the  oil  from  its  seeds, 
the  nation  added  largely  to  the  sum  of  its  blessings. 

Paper,  from  silk  and  hemp,  rice  stalk  fibres,  mulberry  bark, 
and  other  such  raw  material,  had  long  been  made  by  the  Chinese, 
but  h  is  probable  that  the  Coreans,  first  of  the  nations  of  Chinese 
Asia,  made  paper  from  cotton  wool.  For  this  manufacture  they 
to-day  are  famed.  Their  paper  is  highly  prized  in  Peking  and 
Japan  for  its  extreme  thickness  and  toughness.  It  forms  part  of 
the  annual  tribute  which  the  embassies  carry  to  Peking.  It  is 
often  thick  enough  to  be  split  into  several  layers,  and  is  much 
used  by  the  tailors  of  the  Chinese  metropolis  as  a  lining  for  the 
coats  of  mandarins  and  gentlemen.  It  also  serves  for  the  covering 
of  window-frames,  and  a  sewed  wad  of  from  ten  to  fifteen  thick- 
nessc  s  of  it  make  a  kind  of  armor  which  the  troops  wear.  It  will 
resist  a  musket-ball,  but  not  a  rifle-bullet. 



THE  Shan-yan  Alin,  or  Ever- White  Mountains,  stand  like  a  wall 
along  the  northern  boundary  of  the  Corean  peninsula.  Irregular 
mountain  masses  and  outjutting  ranges  01  hills  form  its  buttresses, 
while,  at  intervals,  lofty  peaks  rise  as  towers.  These  are  all  over- 
topped by  the  central  spire  Paik-tu,  or  Whitehead,  which  may  be 
over  ten  thousand  feet  high.  From  its  bases  flow  out  the  Yalu, 
Tumen,  and  Hurka  Rivers. 

From  primeval  times  the  dwellers  at  the  foot  of  this  mountain, 
who  saw  its  ever  hoary  head  lost  in  the  clouds,  or  glistening  with 
fresh-fallen  snow,  conceived  of  a  spirit  dwelling  on  its  heights  in 
the  form  of  a  virgin  in  white.  Her  servants  were  animals  in  white 
fur  and  birds  in  white  plumage. 

"When  Buddhism  entered  the  peninsula,  as  in  China  and  Japan, 
so,  in  Corea,  it  absorbed  the  local  deities,  and  hailed  them  under 
new  names,  as  previous  incarnations  of  Buddha  before  his  avatar 
in  India,  or  the  true  advent  of  the  precious  faith  through  his  mis- 
sionaries. They  were  thenceforth  adopted  into  the  Buddhist  pan- 
theon, and  numbered  among  the  worshipped  Buddhas.  The  spirit 
of  the  Ever- White  Mountains,  the  virgin  in  ever-white  robes, 
named  Manchusri,  whose  home  lay  among  the  unmelting  snows, 
was  one  of  these.  Perhaps  it  was  from  this  deity  that  the  Man- 
chius,  the  ancestors  of  the  ruling  dynasty  of  China,  the  wearers  of 
the  world-famous  hair  tails,  took  their  name. 

According  to  Manchiu  legend,  as  given  by  Professor  Douglas, 
it  is  said  that  "  in  remote  ages,  three  heaven-born  virgins  dwelt 
beneath  the  shadow  of  the  Great  White  Mountains,  and  that,  while 
they  were  bathing  in  a  lake  which  reflected  in  its  bosom  the 
snowy  clad  peaks  which  towered  above  it,  a  magpie  dropped  a 
blood  red  fruit  on  the  clothes  of  the  youngest.  This  the  maiden 
instinctively  devoured,  and  forthwith  conceived  and  bore  a  son, 
whose  name  they  called  Ai-sin  Ghioro,  which  being  interpreted  is 



Home  of  the  Manchius,  and  Their  Migrations. 

156  CORE  A. 

the  c  Golden  Family  Stem,'  and  which  is  the  family  name  of  the  em- 
perors of  China.  When  his  mother  had  entered  the  icy  cave  of 
the  dead,  her  son  embarked  on  a  little  boat,  and  floated  down  the 
river  Hurka,  until  he  reached  a  district  occupied  by  three  families 
who  were  at  war  with  each  other.  The  personal  appearance  of 
the  supernatural  youth  so  impressed  these  warlike  chiefs  that  they 
forgot  their  enmities,  and  hailed  him  as  their  ruler.  The  town  of 
O-to-le  [Odoli]  was  chosen  as  his  capital,  and  from  that  day  his 
people  waxed  fat  and  kicked  against  their  oppressors,  the  Chinese." 

The  home  of  the  Manchius  was,  as  this  legend  shows,  on  the 
north  side  of  the  Ever- White  Mountains,  in  the  valley  of  the 
Hurka.  From  beyond  these  mountains  was  to  roll  upon  China  and 
Corea  another  avalanche  of  invasion.  Beginning  to  be  restless  in  the 
fourteenth  century,  they  had,  in  the  sixteenth,  consolidated  so  many 
tribes,  and  were  so  strong  in  men  and  horses,  that  they  openly  de- 
fied the  Chinese.  The  formidable  expeditions  of  Li-yu-sun,  previous 
to  the  Japanese  invasion  of  Corea,  kept  them  at  bay  for  a  time,  but 
the  immense  expenditure  of  life  and  treasure  required  to  fight  the 
Japanese,  drained  the  resources  of  the  Ming  emperors,  while  their 
attention  being  drawn  away  from  the  north,  the  Manchiu  hordes 
massed  their  forces  and  grew  daily  in  wealth,  numbers,  discipline, 
and  courage.  The  invasion  of  Cho-sen  by  the  Japanese  veterans  was 
one  of  the  causes  of  the  weakness  and  fall  of  the  Ming  dynasty. 

To  repress  the  rising  power  in  the  north,  and  to  smother  the 
life  of  the  young  nation,  the  Peking  government  resorted  to  bar- 
barous cruelties  and  stern  coercion,  in  which  bloodshed  was  con- 
tinual. Unable  to  protect  the  eastern  border  of  Liao  Tung,  the  entire 
population  of  three  hundred  thousand  souls,  dwelling  in  four 
cities  and  many  villages,  were  removed  westward  and  resettled  on 
new  lands.  Fortresses  were  planned,  but  not  finished,  in  the  de- 
serted land,  to  keep  back  the  restless  cavalry  raiders  from  the  north. 
Thus  the  foundation  of  the  neutral  strip  of  fifty  miles  was  uncon- 
sciously laid,  and  ten  thousand  square  miles  of  fair  and  fertile 
land,  west  of  the  Yalu,  was  abandoned  to  the  wolf  and  tiger. 
What  it  soon  became,  it  has  remained  until  yesterday — a  howling 
wilderness.  (See  map  on  page  155.) 

Unable  to  meet  these  cotton-armored  raiders  in  the  field,  the 
Ming  emperor  ordered,  and  in  1615  consummated,  the  assassina- 
tion of  their  king.  This  exasperated  all  the  Manchiu  tribes  to 
vengeance,  and  hostilities  on  a  large  scale  at  once  began  by  a 
southwest  movement  into  Liao  Tung. 


China  had  now  again  to  face  an  invasion  greater  than  the  Jap- 
anese, for  this  time  a  whole  nation  was  behind  it.  Calling  on 
her  vassal,  the  Eastern  Kingdom,  to  send  an  army  of  twenty  thou- 
sand men,  she  ordered  them  to  join  the  imperial  army  at  Hing- 
king.  This  city,  now  called  Yen-den,  lies  about  seventy  miles 
west  oi  the  Yalu  Kiver,  near  the  42d  parallel, 'just  beyond  what  was 
"  the  neutral  strip,"  and  inside  the  palisades  erected  later.  In 
the  battle,  which  ensued,  the  Coreans  first  faced  the  Manchius. 
The  imperial  legions  were  beaten,  and  the  Coreans,  seeing  which 
way  the  victory  would  finally  turn,  deserted  from  the  Chinese  side 
to  thai  of  their  enemy.  This  was  in  1619. 

Th<3  Manchiu  general  sent  back  some  of  the  runaway  Coreans 
to  their  king,  intimating  that,  though  the  Coreans  were  acting 
gratefully  in  assisting  the  Chinese,  who  had  formerly  helped  the 
Coreaiis  against  the  Japanese,  yet  it  might  hereafter  be  better  to 
remair.  neutral.  So  far  from  taking  any  notice  of  this  letter,  the 
government  at  Seoul  allowed  the  king's  subjects  to  cross  the  Yalu 
and  assist  the  people  of  Liao  Tung  against  the  Manchius,  who 
were  making  Hing-king  their  capital.  At  the  same  time  the  Chi- 
nese commander  was  permitted  to  enter  Corea,  and  thence  to 
make  expeditions  against  the  Manchius,  by  which  they  inflicted 
great  damage  upon  the  enemy.  This  continued  until  the  winter 
of  1827,  when  the  Manchius,  having  lost  all  patience  with  Corea, 
prepaied  to  invade  the  peninsula.  Compelling  two  refugees  to 
act  as  their  guides,  they  crossed  the  frozen  Yalu  in  four  divisions, 
in  February,  and  at  once  attacked  the  Chinese  army,  which  was 
defeated,  and  retreated  into  Liao  Tung.  They  then  began  the 
march  to  Seoul.  Ai-chiu  was  the  first  town  taken,  and  then,  after 
crossing  the  Ching-chong  Kiver,  followed  in  succession  the  cities 
lining  the  high  road  to  Ping-an.  Thence,  over  the  Tatong  River, 
they  p  :essed  on  to  Seoul,  the  Coreans  everywhere  flying  before  them. 
Thousands  of  dwellings  and  magazines  of  provisions  were  given  to 
the  fla  tnes,  and  their  trail  was  one  of  blood  and  ashes.  Among  the 
slain  were  two  Hollanders,  who  were  captives  in  the  country. 

H€  retofore  a  line  of  strong  palisades  had  separated  Corea  from 
Mancl  luria,  on  the  north,  but  large  portions  of  it  were  destroyed 
at  this-  time  in  the  constant  forays  along  the  border.  Those  parts 
which  stood  yet  intact  were  often  seen  by  travellers  along  the 
Manchurian  side  as  late  as  toward  the  end  of  the  last  century. 
Since  then  this  wooden  wall,  a  pigmy  imitation  of  China's  colossal 
embai  go  in  masonry,  has  gradually  fallen  into  decay. 

158  COREA. 

The  Manchius  invested  Seoul  and  began  its  siege  in  earnest. 
The  queen  and  ladies  of  the  court  had  already  been  sent  to 
Kang-wa  Island.  The  king,  to  avoid  further  shedding  of  blood, 
sent  tribute  offerings  to  the  invaders,  and  concluded  a  treaty  of 
peace  by  which  Cho-sen  again  exchanged  masters,  the  king  not 
only  acknowledging  from  the  Manchiu  sovereign  the  right  of  in- 
vestiture, but  also  direct  authority  over  his  person,  that  is,  the 
relation  of  master  and  subject. 

The  Coreans  now  waited  to  see  whether  events  were  likely  to 
modify  their  new  relations,  so  reluctantly  entered  into,  for  the  Chi- 
nese were  far  from  beaten  as  yet.  When  free  from  the  presence 
of  the  invading  army  the  courage  of  the  ministers  rose,  and  by 
their  advice  the  king,  by  gradual  encroachments  and  neglect,  an- 
nulled the  treaty. 

No  sooner  were  the  Manchius  able  to  spare  their  forces  for  the 
purpose,  than,  turning  from  China,  they  marched  into  Corea,  one 
hundred  thousand  strong,  well  supplied  with  provisions  and  bag- 
gage-wagons. Entering  the  peninsula,  both  at  Ai-chiu  and  by  the 
northern  pass,  they  reached  Seoul,  and,  after  severe  fighting,  en- 
tered it.  Being  now  provided  with  cannon  and  boats,  they  took 
Kang-wa,  into  which  all  the  royal,  and  many  of  the  noble,  ladies 
had  fled  for  safety. 

The  king  now  came  to  terms,  and  made  a  treaty  in  February, 
1637,  in  which  he  utterly  renounced  his  allegiance  to  the  Ming 
emperor,  agreed  to  give  his  two  sons  as  hostages,  promised  to 
send  an  annual  embassy,  with  tribute,  to  the  Manchiu  court,  and 
to  establish  a  market  at  the  Border  Gate,  in  Liao  Tung.  These 
covenants  were  ratified  by  the  solemn  ceremonial  of  the  king,  his 
sons  and  his  ministers  confessing  their  crimes  and  making  "kow- 
tow" (bowing  nine  times  to  the  earth).  Tartar  and  Corean  wor- 
shipped together  before  Heaven,  and  the  altar  erected  to  Heaven's 
honor.  A  memorial  stone,  erected  near  this  sacred  place,  com- 
memorates the  clemency  of  the  Manchiu  conqueror. 

In  obedience  to  the  orders  of  their  new  masters,  the  Coreans 
despatched  ships,  loaded  with  grain,  to  feed  the  armies  operating 
against  Peking,  and  sent  a  small  force  beyond  the  Tumen  to  chas- 
tise a  tribe  that  had  rebelled  against  their  conquerors.  A  picked 
body  of  their  matchlock  men  was  also  admitted  into  the  Manchiu 

After  the  evacuation  of  Corea,  the  victors  marched  into  China, 
where  bloody,  civil  war  was  already  raging.  The  imperial  army 


was  brdly  beaten  by  the  rebels  headed  by  the  usurper  Li-tse- 
ching.  The  Manchius  joined  their  forces  with  the  Imperialists, 
and  defeated  the  rebels,  and  then  demanded  the  price  of  their 
victory.  Entering  Peking,  they  proclaimed  the  downfall  of  the 
house  of  Ming.  The  Tatar  (vassal)  was  now  a  "Tartar."  The 
son  of  their  late  king  was  set  upon  the  dragon-throne  and  pro- 
claimed the  Whang  Ti,  the  Son  of  Heaven,  and  the  Lord  of  the 
Middle;  Kingdom  and  all  her  vassals.  The  following  tribute  was 
fixed  for  Cho-sen  to  pay  annually  : 

100  ounces  of  gold,  1,000  ounces  of  silver,  10,000  bags  of  rice, 
2,000  pieces  of  silk,  300  pieces  of  linen,  10,000  pieces  of  cotton 
cloth,  400  pieces  of  hemp  cloth,  100  pieces  of  fine  hemp  cloth, 
10,000  rolls  (fifty  sheets  each)  of  large  paper,  1,000  rolls  small 
sized  paper,  2,000  knives  (good  quality),  1,000  ox-horns,  40  de- 
corated mats,  200  pounds  of  dye-wood,  10  boxes  of  pepper,  100 
tiger  skins,  100  deer  skins,  400  beaver  skins,  200  skins  of  blue 
(musk  ?)  rats. 

When,  as  it  happened  the  very  next  year,  the  sho-gun  of  Japan 
demanded  an  increase  of  tribute  to  be  paid  in  Yedo,  the  court  of 
Seoul  plead  in  excuse  their  wasted  resources  consequent  upon  the 
war  with  the  Manchius,  and  their  heavy  burdens  newly  laid  upon 
them.  Their  excuse  was  accepted. 

Twice,  within  a  single  generation,  had  the  little  peninsula  been 
devasiated  by  two  mighty  invasions  that  ate  up  the  land.  Between 
the  mountaineers  of  the  north,  and  "the  brigands"  from  over  the 
sea,  Corea  was  left  the  Issachar  among  nations.  The  once  strong 
ass  couched  down  between  two  burdens.  "And  he  saw  that  the 
rest  was  good,  and  the  land  that  it  was  pleasant,  and  bowed  his 
shoulder  to  bear,  and  became  a  servant  unto  tribute." 

The  Manchius,  being  of  different  stock  and  blood  from  the 
Chinese,  yet  imposed  their  dress  and  method  of  wearing  the  hair 
upon  the  millions  of  Chinese  people,  but  here  their  tyranny 
seemed  to  stop.  Hitherto,  the  Chinese  and  Corean  method  of 
rolling  the  hair  in  a  knot  or  ball,  on  the  top  of  the  head,  had  been 
the  fashion  for  ages.  As  a  sign  of  loyalty  to  the  new  rulers,  all 
peoplo  in  the  Middle  Kingdom  were  compelled  to  shave  the  fore- 
front of  the  head  and  allow  their  hair  to  grow  in  a  queue,  or  pig- 
tail, behind  on  their  back.  At  first  they  resisted,  and  much  blood 
was  shed  before  all  submitted  ;  but,  at  length,  the  once  odious 
mark  of  savagery  and  foreign  conquest  became  the  national  fash- 
ion, i,nd  the  Chinaman's  pride  at  home  and  abroad.  Even  in 

160  CORE  A. 

foreign  lands,  they  cling  to  this  mark  of  their  loyalty  as  to  life 
and  country.  The  object  of  the  recent  queue-cutting  plots,  fo- 
mented by  the  political,  secret  societies  of  China,  is  to  insult  the 
imperial  family  at  Peking  by  robbing  the  Chinese  of  their  loyal 
appendage,  and  the  special  sign  of  the  Tartar  dominion. 

As  a  special  favor  to  the  Coreans  who  first  submitted  to  the 
new  masters  of  Kathay,  they  were  spared  the  infliction  of  the 
queue,  and  allowed  to  dress  their  hair  in  the  ancient  style. 

The  Corean  king  hastened  to  send  congratulations  to  the  em- 
peror, Shun  Chi,  which  ingratiated  him  still  more  in  favor  at 
Peking.  In  1650  a  captive  Corean  maid,  taken  prisoner  in  their 
first  invasion,  became  sixth  lady  in  rank  in  the  imperial  house- 
hold. Through  her  influence  her  father,  the  ambassador,  obtained 
a  considerable  diminution  of  the  annual  tribute,  fixed  upon  in  the 
terms  of  capitulation  in  1637.  In  1643,  one-third  of  this  tribute 
had  been  remitted,  so  that,  by  this  last  reduction,  in  1650,  the  tax 
upon  Corean  loyalty  was  indeed  very  slight.  Indeed  it  has  long 
been  considered  by  the  Peking  government  that  the  Coreans  get 
about  as  much  as  they  give,  and  the  embassy  is  one  of  ceremony 
rather  than  of  tribute-bringing.  Their  offering  is  rather  a  per- 
centage paid  for  license  to  trade,  than  a  symbol  of  vassalage. 
Nevertheless,  the  Coreans  of  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  cen- 
turies found  out,  to  their  cost,  that  any  lack  of  due  deference 
was  an  expensive  item  of  freedom.  Every  jot  and  tittle,  or  tithe 
of  the  mint  or  anise  of  etiquette,  was  exacted  by  the  proud  Man- 
chius.  In  1695,  the  king  of  Cho-sen  was  fined  ten  thousand  ounces 
of  silver  for  the  omission  of  some  punctilio  of  vassalage.  At  the 
investiture  of  each  sovereign  in  Seoul,  two  grandees  were  sent 
from  Peking  to  confer  the  patent  of  royalty.  The  little  bill  for 
this  costly  favor  was  about  ten  thousand  taels,  or  dollars,  in  silver. 
The  Coreans  also  erected,  near  one  of  the  gates  of  Seoul,  a  temple, 
which  still  stands,  in  honor  of  the  Manchius  general  commanding 
the  invasion,  and  to  whom,  to  this  day,  they  pay  semi-divine  hon- 
ors. Yet  to  encourage  patriotism  it  was  permitted,  by  royal  de- 
cree, to  the  descendants  of  the  minister  who  refused,  at  the  Talu 
River,  to  allow  the  Manchius  to  cross,  and  who  thereby  lost  hit 
life,  to  erect  to  his  memory  a  monumental  gate,  a  mark  of  high 
honor  only  rarely  granted. 

The  Jesuits  at  Peking  succeeded  in  ingratiating  themselves 
with  the  conquerors,  and  Shun-chi,  the  emperor,  was  a  pupil  of 
Adam  Schall,  a  German  Jesuit,  who  became  President  of  the  Board 




162  CORE  A. 

of  Mathematicians.  Nevertheless,  in  the  troubles  preceding  the 
peace,  many  upright  men  lost  their  lives,  and  hundreds  of  schol- 
ars who  hated  the  Tatar  conquerors  of  their  beloved  China — as 
the  Christians  of  Constantinople  hated  the  Turks — fled  to  Corea 
and  Japan,  conferring  great  literary  influence  and  benefit.  In 
both  countries  their  presence  greatly  stimulated  the  critical  study 
of  Chinese  literature.  With  the  Mito  and  Yedo  scholars  in  Japan, 
they  assisted  to  promote  the  revival  of  learning,  so  long  neglected 
during  the  civil  wars.  At  Nagasaki,  a  Chinese  colony  of  merchants, 
and  trade  between  the  two  countries,  were  established,  after  the 
last  hope  of  restoring  the  Mings  had  been  extinguished  in  Koku- 
senya  (Coxinga),  who  also  drove  the  Dutch  from  Formosa.  This 
exodus  of  scholars  was  somewhat  like  the  dispersion  of  the  Greek 
scholars  through  Europe  after  the  fall  of  the  Byzantine  empire. 

To  the  Jesuits  in  Peking,  who  were  mostly  Frenchmen,  belongs 
the  credit  of  beginning  that  whole  system  of  modern  culture,  by 
which  modern  science  and  Christianity  are  yet  to  transform  the 
Chinese  mind,  and  recast  the  ideas  of  this  mighty  people  con- 
cerning nature  and  Deity.  They  now  began  to  make  known  in 
Europe  much  valuable  information  about  China  and  her  outlying 
tributary  states.  They  sent  home  a  map  of  Corea — the  first  seen 
in  Europe.  Imperfect,  though  it  was,  it  made  the  hermit  land 
more  than  a  mere  name.  In  "  China  Ulustrata,"  written  by  the 
Jesuit  Martini,  and  published  in  1649,  in  Amsterdam — the  city  of 
printing  presses  and  the  Leipsic  of  that  day — there  is  a  map  of 
Corea.  The  same  industrious  scholar  wrote,  in  Latin,  a  book,  en- 
titled "  De  Bello  inter  Tartaros  et  Seniensis  "  (On  the  War  between 
the  Manchius  and  the  Chinese),  which  was  issued  at  Antwerp  in 
1654,  and  in  Amsterdam  in  1661.  It  was  also  translated  into 
English,  French,  and  Spanish,  the  editions  being  issued  at  Lon- 
don, Donay,  and  Madrid.  The  English  title  is  "  Bellum  Tartari- 
cum  ;  or,  the  Conquest  of  the  Great  and  Most  Eenowned  Empire 
of  China  by  the  Invasion  of  the  [Manchiu]  Tartars,"  London,  1654, 

The  Dutch  had  long  tried  to  get  a  hand  in  the  trade  of  China, 
and,  in  1604,  1622,  and  1653,  had  sent  fleets  of  trading  vessels  to 
Chinese  ports,  but  were  in  every  instance  refused.  The  Kussians, 
however,  were  first  allowed  to  trade  on  the  northern  frontier  of 
China  before  the  same  privileges  were  granted  to  other  Europeans. 
The  Cossacks,  when  they  first  crossed  the  Ural  Mountains,  in  1579, 
with  their  faces  set  toward  the  Pacific,  never  ceased  their  advance 


till  they  had  added  to  the  Czar's  domain  a  portion  of  the  earth's 
surf  a  ce  as  large  as  the  United  States,  and  half  of  Europe.  Once  on 
the  steppes,  there  began  that  long  dueHbetween  Cossack  and  Tar- 
tar, which  never  ended  until  the  boundaries  of  Russia  touched 
those i  of  Corea,  Japan,  and  British  America.  Cossacks  discovered, 
explored,  conquered,  and  settled  this  triple-zoned  region  of  frozen 
moss,  forest  land  and  fertile  soil,  bringing  over  six  million  square 
miles  of  territory  under  the  wings  of  the  double-headed  eagle. 
The}  brought  reports  of  Corea  to  Russia,  and  it  was  from  Russian 
sources  that  Sir  John  Campbell  obtained  the  substance  of  his 
"Commercial  History  of  Chorea  and  Japan"  in  his  voyages  and 
travels,  printed  in  London,  1771. 

Ii  1645,  a  party  of  Japanese  traversed  Cho-sen  from  Ai-chiu  to 
Fusan,  the  Dan  and  Beersheba  of  the  peninsula.  Returning  from 
their  travels,  one  of  them  wrote  a  book  called  the  "Romance  of 
Corea"  (Cho-sen  Monogatari).  Tak6uchi  Tosaemon  and  his  son, 
Tozo,  and  shipmaster  Kunida  Hisosaemon,  on  April  26,  1645,  left 
the  port  of  Mikuni  in  the  province  of  Echizen — the  same  place  to 
which  the  first  native  of  Corea  is  said  to  have  reached  Japan  in 
the  legendary  period.  With  three  large  junks,  whose  \?rews  num- 
bered fifty-eight  men,  they  set  sail  for  the  north  on  a  trading  voy- 
age. Off  the  island  of  Sado  a  fearful  storm  broke  upon  them, 
which,  after  fifteen  days,  drove  them  on  the  mountain  coast  of 
Tart;  try,  where  they  landed,  May  12th,  to  refit  and  get  fresh  water. 
At  first  the  people  treated  them  peacefully,  trading  off  their  gin- 
seng for  the  sake,  or  rice-beer,  of  the  Japanese.  Later  on,  the 
Japanese  were  attacked  by  the  natives,  and  twenty-five  of  their 
number  slain.  The  remainder  were  taken  to  Peking,  where  they 
remained  until  the  winter  of  1646.  Honorably  acquitted  of  all 
blame,  they  were  sent  homeward,  into  the  Eastern  Kingdom,  under 
safe  conduct  of  the  Chinese  emperor  Shun-chi.  They  began  the 
journey  December  18th,  and,  crossing  the  snow-covered  mountains 
and  frozen  rivers  of  Liao  Tung,  reached  Seoul,  after  twenty-eight 
days  travel,  February  3,'  1647. 

The  Japanese  were  entertained  in  magnificent  style  in  one  of  the 
roya]  houses  with  banquets,  numerous  servants,  presents,  and  the  at- 
tend; ince  of  an  officer,  named  Kan-shun,  who  took  them  around  the 
city  !  jid  showed  them  the  sights.  The  paintings  on  the  palace  walls, 
the  tiger-skin  rugs,  the  libraries  of  handsomely  bound  books,  the 
festivities  of  New  Year's  day,  the  evergreen  trees  and  fine  scenery, 
were  all  novel  and  pleasing  to  the  Japanese,  but  still  they  longed 

164  CORBA. 

to  reach  home.  Leaving  Seoul,  February  12th,  they  passed  through 
a  large  city,  where,  at  sunset  and  sunrise,  they  heard  the  trum- 
peters call  the  laborers  to  begin  and  cease  work.  They  noticed 
that  the  official  class  inscribed  on  their  walls  the  names  and  dates 
of  reign  and  death  of  the  royal  line  from  the  founder  of  the 
dynasty  to  the  father  of  the  ruling  sovereign.  This  served  as  an  ob- 
ject lesson  in  history  for  the  young.  The  merchants  kept  in  their 
houses  a  picture  of  the  famous  Tao-jo-kung,  who,  by  skill  in  trade, 
accumulated  fortunes  only  to  spend  them  among  his  friends.  On 
February  21st,  they  passed  through  Shang-shen  (or  Shang-chiu  ?), 
where  the  Japanese  gained  a  great  victory. 

In  passing  along  the  Nak-tong  Kiver,  they  witnessed  the  an- 
nual trial  of  archery  for  the  military  examinations.  The  targets 
were  straw  mannikins,  set  up  on  boats,  in  the  middle  of  the  river. 
On  March  6th  they  reached  Fusan.  The  Japanese  settlement, 
called  Nippon-machi,  or  Japan  Street,  was  'outside  the  gates  of 
the^town,  a  guard-house  being  kept  up  to  keep  the  Japanese 
away.  Only  twice  a  year,  on  August  15th  and  16th,  were  they 
allowed  to  leave  their  quarters  to  visit  a  temple  in  the  town".  The 
Coreans,  however,  were  free  to  enter  the  Japanese  concession  to 
visit  or  trade.  The  waifs  were  taken  into  the  house  of  the  daimio 
of  Tsushima,  and  glad,  indeed,  were  they  to  talk  with  a  fellow 
countryman.  Sailing  to  Tsushima,  they  were  able  there  to  get 
Japanese  clothes,  and,  on  July  19th,  they  reached  Ozaka,  and 
finally  th^ir  homes  in  Echizen.  One  of  their  number  wrote  out 
an  account  of  his  adventures. 

Among  other  interesting  facts,  he  states  that  he  saw,  hanging 
in  the  palace  at  Peking,  a  portrait  of  Yoshitsune,  the  Japanese 
hero,  who,  as  some  of  his  countrymen  believe,  fled  the  country 
and,  landing  in  Manchuria,  became  the  mighty  warrior  Genghis 
Khan.  Whether  mistaken  or  not,  the  note  of  the  Japanese  is  in« 

Mr.  Leon  Pages,  in  his  "  Histoire  de  la  Religion  Chretienne 
au  Japon,"  says  that  these  men  referred  'to  above  found  estab- 
lished in  the  capital  a  Japanese  commercial  factory,  but  with  the 
very  severe  restrictions  similar  to  those  imposed  upon  the  Hollan- 
ders at  Deshima.  This  is  evidently  a  mistake.  There  was  no  trad- 
ing mart  in  the  capital,  but  there  was,  and  had  been,  one  at 
Fusan,  which  still  exists  in  most  flourishing  condition. 

The  Manchius,  from  the  first,  showed  themselves  "the  most 
improvable  race  in  Asia."  In  1707,  under  the  patronage  of  the 



renowned  emperor  Kang  Hi,  the  Jesuits  in  Peking  began  their 
great  geographical  enterprise — the  survey  of  the  Chinese  Empire, 
including  the  outlying  vassal  kingdoms.  From  the  king's  palace, 
at  Seoul,  Kang  Hi's  envoy  obtained  a  map  of  Corea,  which  was  re- 
duced, drawn,  and  sent  to  Europe  to  be  engraved  and  printed. 
From  this  original,  most  of  the  maps  and  supposed  Corean  names 
in  books,  published  since  that  time,  have  been  copied.  Having 
no  Oorean  interpreter  at  hand,  the  Jesuit  cartographers  gave  the 
Chinese  sounds  of  the  characters  which  represent  the  local  names. 
Hence  the  discrepancies  between  this  map  and  the  reports  of  the 
Dulch,  Japanese,  French,  and  American  travellers,  who  give  the 

300  Jf. 

Map  illustrating  the  Jesuit  Survey  of  1709. 

ven  acular  pronunciation.  To  French  genius  and  labor,  from  first 
to  l^st,  we  owe  most  of  what  is  known  in  Europe  concerning  the 
seel  ided  nation.  The  Jesuits'  map  is  accurate  as  regards  the  lati- 
tud< ;  and  longitude  of  many  places,  but  lacking  in  true  coast  lines. 
'While  making  their  surveys,  the  party  of  missionaries,  whose 
assignment  of  the  work  was  to  Eastern  Manchuria,  caught  some- 
thing like  a  Pisgah  glimpse  of  the  country  which,  before  a  century 
elapsed,  was  to  become  a  land  of  promise  to  French  Christianity.  In 
1701),  as  they  looked  across  the  Tumen  River,  they  wrote  :  "  It  was  a 
new  sight  to  us  after  we  had  crossed  so  many  forests,  and  coasted 
so  many  frightful  mountains  to  find  ourselves  on  the  banks  of  the 

166  COREA. 

river  Tumen-ula,  with  nothing  but  woods  and  wild  beasts  on  one 
side,  while  the  other  presented  to  our  view  all  that  art  and  labor 
could  produce  in  the  best  cultivated  kingdoms.  We  there  saw 
walled  cities,  and  placing  our  instruments  on  the  neighboring- 
heights,  geometrically  determined  the  location  of  four  of  them, 
which  bounded  Korea  on  the  north."  The  four  towns  seen  by 
the  Jesuit  surveyors  were  Kion-wen,  On-son,  and  possibly  Kion- 
fun  and  Chon-shon. 

The  Coreans  could  not  understand  the  Tartar  or  Chinese  com- 
panions of  the  Frenchmen,  but,  at  Hun-chun,  they  found  interpre- 
ters, who  told  them  the  names  of  the  Corean  towns.  The  French 
priests  were  exceedingly  eager  and  anxious  to  cross  the  river,  and 
enter  the  land  that  seemed  like  the  enchanted  castle  of  Thornrose, 
but,  being  forbidden  by  the  emperor's  orders,  they  reluctantly 
turned  their  backs  upon  the  smiling  cities. 

This  was  the  picture  of  the  northern  border  in  1707,  before  it 
was  desolated,  as  it  afterward  was,  so  that  the  Russians  might  not 
be  tempted  to  cross  over.  At  Hun-chun,  on  the  Manchiu,  and 
Kion-wen,  on  the  Corean  side  of  the  river,  once  a  year,  alternately, 
that  is,  once  in  two  years,  at  each  place,  a  fair  was  held  up  to 
1860,  where  the  Coreans  and  Chinese  merchants  exchanged  goods. 
The  lively  traffic  lasted  only  half  a  day,  when  the  nationals  of 
either  country  were  ordered  over  the  border,  and  laggards  were 
hastened  at  the  spear's  point.  Any  foreigner,  Manchiu,  Chinese, 
or  even  Corean  suspected  of  being  an  alien,  was,  if  found  on  the 
south  side  of  the  Tumen,  at  once  put  to  death  without  shrift  or 
pity.  Thus  the  only  gate  of  parley  with  the  outside  world  on  Co- 
rea's  northern  frontier  resembled  an  embrasure  or  a  muzzle. 
When  at  last  the  Cossack  lance  flashed,  and  the  Russian  school- 
house  rose,  and  the  church  spire  glittered  with  steady  radiance 
beyond  the  Tumen,  this  gateway  became  the  terminus  of  that 
"underground  railroad,"  through  which  the  Corean  slave  reached 
his  Canada  beyond,  or  the  Corean  Christian  sought  freedom  from 
torture  and  dungeons  and  death. 



THE  old  saw  which  tells  us  that  "truth  is  stranger  than  fic- 
tion "  receives  many  a  new  and  unexpected  confirmation  when- 
ever a  traveller -into  strange  countries  comes  back  to  tell  his  tale. 
Ma:  :co  Polo  was  denominated  "  Signor  Milliano  "  (Lord  Millions) 
by  iiis  incredulous  hearers,  because,  in  speaking  of  China,  he  very 
properly  used  this  lofty  numeral  so  frequently  in  his  narratives. 
Mendez  Pinto,  though  speaking  truthfully  of  Japan's  wonders, 
was  dubbed  by  a  pun  on  his  Christian  name,  the  "Mendacious," 
because  he  told  what  were  thought  to  be  very  unchristian  stories. 
In  our  own  day,  when  Paul  Du  Chaillu  came  back  from  the 
African  wilds  and  told  of  the  gorilla  which  walked  upright  like  a 
man,  and  could  dent  a  gun-barrel  with  his  teeth,  most  people  be- 
lieved, as  a  college  professor  of.  belles  lettres,  dropping  elegant 
words  for  the  nonce,  once  stated,  that  "he  lied  like  the  mischief." 
When  lo !  the  once  mythic  gorillas  have  come  as  live  guests  at 
Beilin  and  Philadelphia,  while  their  skeletons  are  commonplaces 
in  our  museums.  Even  Stanley's  African  discoveries  were,  at  first, 
dis<  -redited. 

The  first  European  travellers  in  Corea,  who  lived  to  tell  their 
tak  at  home,  met  the  same  fate  as  Polo,  Pinto,  Du  Chaillu,  and 
Stailey.  The  narratives  were  long  doubted,  and  by  some  set  down 
as  pure  fiction.  Like  the  Indian  braves  that  listen  to  Bed  Cloud 
anc  Spotted  Tail,  who,  in  the  lodges  of  the  plains,  recount  the 
wonders  of  Washington  and  civilization,  the  hearers  are  sure  that 
the/ have  taken  "bad  medicine."  Later  reports  or  personal  ex- 
per.ence,  however,  corroborate  the  first  accounts,  and  by  the  very 
con  unonplaceness  of  simple  truth  the  first  reports  are  robbed  alike 
of  i  ovelty  and  suspicion. 

The  first  known  entrance  of  any  number  of  Europeans  into 
Coi  ea  was  that  of  Hollanders,  belonging  to  the  crew  of  the  Dutch 
shi}>  Hollandra,  which  was  driven  ashore  in  1627.  In  those  days 

168  COREA. 

the  Dutch  were  pushing  their  adventurous  progress  in  the  east- 
ern seas  as  well  as  on  the  American  waters.  They  had  forts, 
trading  settlements,  or  prosperous  cities  in  Java,  Sumatra,  the 
Spice  Islands,  Formosa,  and  the  ports  of  Southern  Japan.  The 
shores  of  these  archipelagoes  and  continents  being  then  little 
known,  and  slightly  surveyed,  shipwrecks  were  very  frequent. 
The  profits  of  a  prosperous  voyage  usually  repaid  all  losses  of 
ships,  though  it  is  estimated  that  three  out  of  five  were  lost.  The 
passage  between  China  and  Japan  and  up  the  seas  south  of  Corea, 
has,  from  ancient  times,  been  difficult,  even  to  a  Chinese  proverb. 

A  big,  blue-eyed,  red-bearded,  robust  Dutchman,  named  John 
Wetterree,  whose  native  town  was  Eip,  in  North  Holland,  volun- 
teered on  board  the  Dutch  ship  Hollandra  in  1626,  in  order  to 
get  to  Japan.  In  that  wonderful  country,  during  the  previous 
seventeen  years,  his  fellow-countrymen  had  been  trading  and 
making  rich  fortunes,  occasionally  fighting  on  the  seas  with  the 
Portuguese  and  other  buccaneers  of  the  period. 

The  good  ship,  after  a  long  voyage  around  the  Cape  of  Good 
Hope,  and  through  the  Indian  and  Chinese  Seas,  was  almost  in 
sight  of  Japan.  Coasting  along  the  Corean  shores,  Mr.  John 
Wetterree  and  some  companions  went  ashore  to  get  water,  and 
there  were  captured  by  the  natives.  The  Coreans  were  evidently 
quite  willing  to  have  such  a  man  at  hand,  for  use  rather  than  orna- 
ment. After  the  Japanese  invasions  a  spasm  of  enterprise  in  the 
way  of  fortification,  architecture,  and  development  of  their  mili- 
tary resources  possessed  them,  and  to  have  a  big-nosed  and  red- 
bearded  foreigner,  a  genuine  "Nam-ban,"  or  barbarian  of  the 
south,  was  a  prize.  To  both  Coreans  and  Japanese,  the  Europeans, 
as  coming  in  ships  from  the  southward,  were  called  "  Southern- 
ers," or  "Southern  savages."  Later  on,  after  learning  new  les- 
sons in  geography,  they  called  them  "Westerners,"  or  "Bar- 
barians from  the  West." 

Like  the  black  potentates  of  Africa,  who  like  to  possess  a  white 
man,  believing  him  to  be  a  "spirit,"  or  a  New  Zealand  chief,  who 
values  the  presence  of  a  "  paheka  Maori"  (Englishman),  the  Co- 
reans of  that  day  considered  their  western  "  devil "  a  piece  of  prop- 
erty worth  many  tiger  skins.  It  may  be  remembered— and  the 
Coreans  may  have  borrowed  the  idea  thence — that  the  Japanese, 
then  beginning  their  hermit  policy,  had  also  a  white  foreigner  in 
durance  for  their  benefit.  This  was  the  Englishman  Will  Adams, 
who  had  been  a  pilot  on  a  Dutch  ship  that  sailed  from  the  same 


Texel  River.  Perhaps  the  boy  Wetterree  had  seen  and  talked 
,with  the  doughty  Briton  on  the  wharves  of  the  Dutch  port. 
Adams  served  the  Japanese  as  interpreter,  state  adviser,  ship  ar- 
chitect, mathematician,  and  in  various  useful  ways,  but  was  never 
allowed  to  leave  Japan.  It  is  highly  probable  that  the  ambassadors 
from  Seoul,  while  in  Yedo,  saw  Will  Adams,  since  he  spent  much 
of  his  time  in  public  among  the  officials  and  people,  living  there 
until  May,  1620. 

The  magnates  of  Seoul  probably  desired  to  have  a  like  facto- 
tum, and  this  explains  why  Wetterree  was  treated  with  kindness 
and  comparative  honor,  though  kept  as  a  prisoner.  When  the 
Manchius  invaded  Corea,  in  1635,  his  two  companions  were  killed 
in  thd  wars,  and  Wetterree  was  left  alone.  Having  no  one  with 
whom  he  could  converse,  he  had  almost  forgotten  his  native 
speech,  when  after  twenty-seven  years  of  exile,  in  the  fifty-ninth 
year  of  his  age,  he  met  some  of  his  fellow-Hollanders  and  acted  as 
interpreter  to  the  Coreans,  under  the  following  circumstances  : 

In  January,  1653,  the  Dutch  ship  Sparwehr  (Sparrowhawk) 
left  Texel  Island,  bound  for  Nagasaki.  Among  the  crew  was 
Hendrik  Hamel,  the  supercargo,  who  afterward  became  the  his- 
torian of  their  adventures.  After  nearly  five  months'  voyage,  they 
reached  Batavia,  June  1st,  and  Formosa  July  16th.  From  this 
island  they  steered  for  Japan,  fortunately  meeting  no  "wild  Chi- 
nese '  or  pirates  on  their  course.  Off  Quelpart  Island,  a  dreadful 
storm  arose,  and,  being  close  on  a  lee  shore  with  death  staring 
all  in  the  face,  the  captain  ordered  them  "  to  cut  down  the  mast 
and  go  to  their  prayers."  The  ship  went  to  pieces,  but  thirty-six 
out  o}  the  sixty-four  men  composing  the  crew  reached  the  shore 
alive.  The  local  magistrate,  an  elder  of  some  seventy  years  of  age, 
who  knew  a  little  Dutch,  met  them  with  his  retainers,  and  learned 
their  plight,  who  they  were,  and  whence  they  came.  The  Hollanders 
were  irst  refreshed  with  rice-water.  The  Coreans  then  collected 
the  pieces  of  the  broken  ship,  and  all  they  could  get  from  the 
hulk,  and  burned  them  for  the  sake  of  the  metal.  One  of  the  iron 
articles  happened  to  be  a  loaded  cannon,  which  went  off  during 
the  fi  ing.  The  liquor  casks  were  speedily  emptied  into  the  gullets 
of  th<  •  wreckers,  and  the  result  was  a  very  noisy  set  of  heathen. 

The  old  leader,  however,  evidently  determined  to  draw  the  line 
between  virtue  and  vice  somewhere.  He  had  several  of  the  thieves 
seize*  I  and  spanked  on  the  spot,  while  others  were  bambooed  on 
the  soles  of  their  feet,  one  so  severely  that  his  toes  dropped  off. 

170  COREA. 

On  October  29th  the  survivors  were  brought  by  the  officials 
to  be  examined  by  the  interpreter  Wetterree.  The  huge  noses, 
the  red  beards  and  white  faces  were  at  once  recognized  by  the 
lone  exile  as  belonging  to  his  own  countrymen.  Wetterree  was 
very  "rusty"  in  his  native  language,  after  twenty-seven  years' 
nearly  complete  disuse,  but  in  company  with  the  new  arrivals  he 
regained  it  all  in  a  month. 

Of  course,  the  first  and  last  idea  of  the  captives  was  how  to 
escape.  The  native  fishing-smacks  were  frequently  driven  off  to 
Japan,  which  they  knew  must  be  almost  in  sight.  One  night  they 
made  an  attempt  to  reach  the  sea-shore.  They  at  first  thought 
they  were  secure,  when  the  dogs  betrayed  them  by  barking  and 
alarming  the  guards. 

It  is  evident  that  the  European  body  has  an  odor  entirely  dis- 
tinct from  a  Mongolian.  The  Abbe  Hue  states  that  even  when 
travelling  through  Thibet  and  China,  in  disguise,  the  dogs  con- 
tinually barked  at  him  and  almost  betrayed  him,  even  at  night.  In 
travelling,  and  especially  when  living  in  the  Japanese  city  of  Fu- 
kui,  the  writer  had  the  same  experience.  In  walking  through  the 
city  streets  at  night,  even  when  many  hundred  yards  off,  the  Jap- 
anese dogs  would  start  up  barking  and  run  toward  him.  This 
occurred  repeatedly,  when  scores  of  native  pedestrians  were  not 
noticed  by  the  beasts.  The  French  missionaries  in  Corea,  even  in 
disguise,  report  the  same  .facts. 

The  baffled  Hollanders  were  caught  and  officially  punished 
after  the  fashion  of  the  nursery,  but  so  severely  that  some  had  to 
keep  their  beds  for  a  month,  in  order  to  heal  their  battered  flanks. 
Finally  they  were  ordered  to  proceed  to  the  capital,  which  the 
Dutchmen  call  Sior  (Seoul). 

Hamel  gives  a  few  names  of  the  places  through  which  he 
passed.  These  are  in  the  pronunciation  of  the  local  dialect,  and 
written  down  in  Dutch  spelling.  Most  of  them  are  recognizable 
on  the  map,  though  the  real  sound  is  nearly  lost  in  a  quagmire  of 
Dutch  letters,  in  which  Hamel  has  attempted  to  note  the  quavers 
and  semi-demi-quavers  of  Corean  enunciation.  He  writes  Coeree 
for  Corea,  and  Tyocen-koeck  for  Cho-sen  kokii,  and  is  probably  the 
first.  European  to  mention  Quelpart  Island,  on  which  the  ship  was 

The  first  city  on  the  mainland  to  which  they  came  was  Heynam 
(Hai-nain),  in  the  extreme  southwest  of  Chulla.  This  was  about  the 
last  of  May.  Thence  they  marched  to  Jeham,  spending  the  night 


at  Na-diou  (Nai-chiu).  The  gunner  of  the  ship  died  at  Je-ham,  or 
Je-ban.  They  passed  through  San-siang  (Chan-shon),  and  came 
to  Tong-ap  (Chon-wup  ?),  after  crossing  a  high  mountain,  on  the 
top  of  which  was  the  spacious  fortress  of  H-pam  San-siang.  The 
term  "  San-siang,"  used  twice  here,  means  a  fortified  stronghold 
in  the  mountains,  to  which,  in  time  of  war,  the  neighboring  villa- 
gers may  fly  for  refuge.  Teyn  (Tai-in),  was  the  next  place  arrived 
at,  after  which,  "having  baited  at  the  little  town  of  Kuniga" 
(Kumku),  they  reached  Khin-tyo  (Chon-chiu),  where  the  governor 
of  Chillado  (Chulla  do)  resided.  This  city,  though  a  hundred  miles 
from  the  sea,  was  very  famous,  and  was  a  seat  of  great  traffic. 
After  this,  they  came  to  the  last  town  of  the  province,  Jesan,  and, 
passing  through  Gunun  and  Jensan,  reached  Konsio  (Kong-chiu), 
the  capital  of  Chung-chong  province.  They  reached  the  border  of 
Kiung-kei  by  a  rapid  march,  and,  after  crossing  a  wide  river  (the 
Han),  they  traversed  a  league,  and  entered  Sior  (Seoul).  They 
computed  the  length  of  the  journey  at  seventy-five  leagues.  This, 
by  a  rough  reckoning,  is  about  the  distance  from  Hainam  to  Seoul, 
as  may  be  seen  from  the  map. 

In  the  capital,  as  they  had  been  along  the  road,  the  Dutchmen 
were  like  wild  beasts  on  show.  Crowds  flocked  to  see  the  white- 
faced  Lnd  red-bearded  foreigners.  They  must  have  appeared  to 
the  natives  as  Punch  looks  to  English  children.  The  women  were 
even  riore  anxious  than  the  men  to  get  a  good  look.  Every  one 
was  especially  curious  to  see  the  Dutchmen  drink,  for  it  was  gen- 
erally believed  that  they  tucked  their  noses  up  over  their  ears 
when  i  hey  drank.  The  size  and  prominence  of  the  nasal  organ  of 
a  Caucasian  first  strikes  a  Turanian  with  awe  and  fear.  Thou- 
sands of  people  no  doubt  learned,  for  the  first  time,  that  the  west- 
ern "devils"  were  men  after  all,  and  ate  decent  food  and  not 
earths  orms  and  toads.  Some  of  the  women,  so  Hamel  flattered 
himself,  even  went  so  far  as  to  admire  the  fair  complexions  and 
ruddy  cheeks  of  the  Dutchmen.  At  the  palace,  the  king  (Yo- 
chong.  who  reigned  from  1648  to  1658)  improved  the  opportunity 
for  a  1  ttle  fun.  It  was  too  good  a  show  not  to  see  how  the  ani- 
mals c  mid  perform.  The  Dutchmen  laughed,  sang,  danced,  leaped, 
and  wont  through  miscellaneous  performances  for  His  Majesty's 
benefit.  For  this  they  were  rewarded  with  choice  drink  and 
refres]  iments.  They  were  then  assigned  to  the  body-guard  of 
the  king  as  petty  officers,  and  an  allowance  of  rice  was  set  apart 
for  their  maintenance.  Chinese  and  Dutchmen  drilled  and  com- 

172  COREA. 

manded  the  palace  troops,  who  were  evidently  the  flower  of  the 
army.      During  their  residence   at  the   capital   the   Hollanders 
learned  many  things  about  the  country  and  people,  and  began  to    t 
be  able  to  talk  in  the  "  Coresian  "  language. 

The  ignorance  and  narrowness  of  the  Coreans  were  almost  in- 
credible.    They  could  not  believe  what  the  captives  told  them  of    \ 
the  size  of  the  earth.     "How  could  it  be  possible,"  said  they,  in 
sneering  incredulity,  "  that  the  sun  can  shine  on  all  the  many  _j 
countries  you  tell  us  of  at  once?"     Thinking  the  foreigners  told   : 
exaggerated  lies,  they  fancied  that  the  "  countries "  were  only  -I 
counties  and  the  "  cities  "  villages.    To  them  Corea  was  very  near  -] 
the  centre  of  the  earth,  which  was  China. 

The  cold  was  very  severe.  In  November  the  river  was  frozen 
over,  and  three  hundred  loaded  horses  passed  over  it  on  the  ice. 

After  they  had  been  in  Seoul  three  years,  the  "Tartar"  (Man- 
chiu)  ambassador  visited  Seoul,  but  before  his  arrival  the  captives   ] 
were  sent  away  to  a  fort,  distant  six  or  seven  leagues,  to  be  kept    ; 
until  the  ambassador  left,  which  he  did  in  March.    This  fort  stood 
on  a  mountain,  called  Numma,  which  required  three  hours  to 
ascend.     In  time  of  war  the  king  sought  shelter  within  it,  and  it 
was  kept  provisioned  for  three  years.     Hamel  does  not  state  why 
he  and  his  companions  were  sent  away,  but  it  was  probably  to  con- 
ceal the  fact  that  foreigners  were  drilling  the  royal  troops.     The 
suspicions  of  the  new  rulers  at  Peking  were  easily  roused. 

When  the  Manchiu  envoy  was  about  to  leave  Seoul,  some  of 
the  prisoners  determined  to  put  in  execution  a  plan  of  escape. 
They  put  on  Dutch  clothes,  under  their  Corean  dress,  and  awaited 
their  opportunity.  As  the  envoy  was  on  the  road  about  to  depart, 
some  of  them  seized  the  bridle  of  his  horse,  and  displaying  their 
Dutch  clothing,  begged  him  to  take  them  to  Peking.  The  plan 
ended  in  failure.  The  Dutchmen  were  seized  and  thrown  into 
prison.  Nothing  more  was  ever  heard  of  them,  and  it  was  believed 
by  their  companions  that  they  had  been  put  to  death.  This  was 
in  March. 

In  June  there  was  another  shipwreck  off  Quelpart  Island,  and 
Wetterree  being  now  too  old  to  make  the  journey,  three  of  the 
Hollanders  were  sent  to  act  as  interpreters.  Hamel  does  not  give 
us  the  result  of  their  mission. 

The  Manchiu  ambassador  came  again  to  Seoul  in  August.. 
The  nobles  urged  the  king  to  put  the  Hollanders  to  death,  and 
have  no  more  trouble  with  them.  His  Majesty  refused,  but  sent 


them  back  into  Chulla,  allowing  them  each  fifty  pounds  of  rice  a 
month  i'or  their  support. 

They  set  out  from  Seoul  in  March,  1657,  on  horseback,  passing 
through  the  same  towns  as  on  their  former  journey.  Beaching 
the  castle-city  of  "  Diu-siong,"  they  were  joined  by  their  three 
comrades  sent  to  investigate  the  wreck  at  Quelpart,  which  made 
their  number  thirty-three.  Their  chief  occupation  was  that  of 
keeping  the  castle  and  official  residence  in  order — an  easy  and 
congenial  duty  for  the  neat  and  order-loving  Dutchmen. 

Hamel  learned  many  of  the  ideas  of  the  natives.  They  repre- 
sented their  country  as  in  the  form  of  a  long  square,  "  in  shape  like 
a  playing-card  " — perhaps  the  Dutchmen  had  a  pack  with  them  to 
beguile  the  tedium  of  their  exile.  Certain  it  is  that  they  still  kept 
the  arms  and  flag  of  Orange,  to  be  used  again. 

The  exiles  were  not  treated  harshly,  though  in  one  case,  after 
a  change  of  masters,  the  new  magistrate  "afflicted  them  with 
fresh  crosses."  This  "rotation  in  office  "  was  evidently  on  account 
of  the  change  on  the  throne.  Yo-chong  ceased  to  reign  in  1658, 
and  "  a  new  king  arose  who  knew  not  Joseph."  Yen-chong  suc- 
ceeded his  father,,  reigning  from  1658  to  1676. 

Two  large  comets  appearing  in  the  sky  with  their  tails  toward 
each  other,  frightened  the  Coreans,  and  created  intense  alarm. 
The  army  was  ordered  out,  the  guards  were  doubled,  and  no  fires 
were  allowed  to  be  kindled  along  the  coast,  lest  they  might  attract 
or  guide  invaders  or  a  hostile  force.  In  the  last  few  decades, 
comets  had  appeared,  said  the  Coreans,  and  in  each  case  they  had 
presaged  war.  In  the  first,  the  Japanese  invasions  from  the  east, 
and,  in  the  second,  the  Manchius  from  the  west.  They  anxiously 
asked  the  Dutchmen  how  comets  were  regarded  in  Holland,  and 
probably  received  some  new  ideas  in  astronomy.  No  war,  how- 
ever, followed,  and  the  innocent  comets  gradually  shrivelled  up 
out  of  sight,  without  shaking  out  of  their  fiery  hair  either  pesti- 
lence or  war. 

Th(  Dutchmen  saw  many  whales  blowing  off  the  coast,  and  in 
December  shoals  of  herring  rushed  by,  keeping  up  an  increasing 
stream  of  life  until  January,  when  it  slackened,  and  in  March 
ceased.  The  whales  made  sad  havoc  in  these  shoals,  gorging 
themse  Ives  on  the  small  fry.  These  are  the  herring  which  arrive 
off  the  coast  of  Whang-hai,  and  feed  on  the  banks  and  shoals  dur- 
ing th(  season.  The  catching  of  them  affords  lucrative  employ- 
ment to  hundreds  of  junks  from  North  China. 

174  COREA. 

From  their  observations,  the  Dutchmen  argued — one  hundred 
and  twenty  years  before  La  Perouse  demonstrated  the  fact — that 
there  must  be  a  strait  north  of  Corea,  connecting  with  the  Arctic 
Ocean,  like  that  of  Waigats  (now  called  the  Strait  of  Kara),  be- 
tween Nova  Zemla  and  the  island  lying  off  the  northwestern  end 
of  Russia.  They  thus  conjectured  the  existence  of  the  Straits  of 
Tartary,  west  of  Saghalin,  before  they  appeared  on  any  European 
map.  Waigats  was  discovered  by  the  Englishman,  Stephen  Bur- 
roughs, who  had  been  sent  out  by  the  Muscovy  company  to  find  a 
northwest  passage  to  China.  Their  mention  of  it  shows  that  they 
were  familiar  with  the  progress  of  polar  research,  since  it  was  dis- 
covered in  1556,  only  seven  years  before  they  left  Holland.  It 
had  even  at  that  time,  however,  become  a  famous  hunting-place 
for  whalers  and  herring  fishers. 

These  marine  studies  of  the  captives,  coupled  with  the  fact  that 
they  had  before  attempted  to  escape,  may  have  aroused  the  suspi- 
cions of  the  government.  In  February,  1663,  by  orders  from  Seoul, 
they  were  separated  and  put  in  three  different  towns.  Twelve 
went  to  "  Saysiano,"  five  to  Siun-schien,  and  five  to  Namman,  their 
numbers  being  now  reduced  to  twenty-two.  Two  of  these  places 
are  easily  found  on  the  Japanese  map.  During  all  the  years  of 
their  captivity,  they  seem  not  to  have  known  anything  of  the  Jap- 
anese at  Fusan,  nor  the  latter  of  them. 

Though  thus  scattered,  the  men  were  occasionally  allowed  to 
visit  each  other,  which  they  did,  enjoying  each  other's  society, 
sweetened  with  pipes  and  tobacco,  and  Hamel  devoutly  adds  that 
"  it  was  a  great  mercy  of  God  that  they  enjoyed  good  health."  A 
new  governor  having  been  appointed  over  them,  evidently  was  pos- 
sessed with  the  idea  of  testing  the  skill  of  the  bearded  foreigners, 
with  a  view  of  improving  the  art  productions  of  the  country.  He 
set  the  Dutchmen  to  work  at  moulding  clay — perhaps  to  have  some 
pottery  and  tiles  after  Dutch  patterns,  and  the  Delft  system  of 
illustrating  the  Bible  at  the  fireplace.  This  was  so  manifestly 
against  the  national  policy  of  making  no  improvements  on  any- 
thing, that  the  poor  governor  lost  his  place  and  suffered  punish- 
ment. The  spies  informed  on  him  to  the  king.  An  explosion  of 
power  took  place,  the  ex-governor  received  ninety  strokes  on  his 
shin-bones,  and  was  disgraced  from  rank  and  office.  The  quon- 
dam improvers  of  the  ceramic  art  of  Corea  were  again  set  to  work 
at  pulling  up  grass  and  other  menial  duties  about  the  official  resi* 


As  the  years  passed  on,  the  poor  exiles  were  in  pitiful  straits. 
Their  clothing  had  been  worn  to  tatters,  and  they  were  reduced 
even  io  beggary.  They  were  accustomed  to  go  off  in  companies 
to  seek  alms  of  the  people,  for  two  or  three  weeks  at  a  time. 
Those  left  at  home,  during  these  trips,  worked  at  various  odd  joba 
to  earn  a  pittance,  especially  at  making  arrows.  The  next  year, 
1664,  vvas  somewhat  easier  for  them,  their  overseer  being  kind 
and  gentle  ;  but,  in  1665,  the  homesick  fellows  tried  hard  to 
escape.  In  1666,  they  lost  their  benefactor,  the  good  governor. 
Now  came  the  time  for  flight. 

All  possible  preparations  were  made,  in  the  way  of  hoarding 
provisions,  getting  fresh  water  ready,  and  studying  well  the  place 
of  exit.  They  waited  for  the  sickness  or  absence  of  their  overseer, 
to  slacken  the  vigilance  of  their  guards. 

In  the  latter  part  of  August,  or  early  in  September,  1667,  as  the 
fourteenth  year  of  their  captivity  was  drawing  to  a  close,  the  gov- 
ernor fell  sick.  The  Dutchmen,  taking  time  by  the  forelock,  im- 
mediately, as  soon  as  dark,  on  the  night  of  September  4th,  climbed 
the  city  wall,  and  reaching  the  seaside  succeeded,  after  some  par- 
leying in  getting  a  boat.  "A  Corean,  blinded  by  the  offer  of 
double  the  value  of  it,"  sold  them  his  fishing  craft.  They  returned 
again  to  the  city.  At  night  they  crept  along  the  city  wall,  and 
this  time  the  dogs  were  asleep,  absent,  or  to  windward,  though 
the  Dutchmen's  hearts  were  in  their  mouths  all  the  time.  They 
carried  pots  of  rice  and  water,  and  that  darling  of  a  Dutchman — 
the  frying-pan.  Noiselessly  they  slipped  the  wood  and  stone 
anchor,  and  glided  out  past  the  junks  and  boats  in  the  harbor, 
none  of  the  crews  waking  from  their  mats. 

They  steered  directly  southeast,  and  on  the  6th  found  them- 
selves in  a  current  off  the  Goto  Islands.  They  succeeded  in  land- 
ing, ai  id  cooked  some  food.  Not  long  after,  some  armed  natives 
(probably  from  the  lingering  influence  of  the  comet)  approached 
them  cautiously,  as  the  Japanese  feared  they  were  Coreans,  and 
forerunners  of  an  invading  band. 

Hamel  at  once  pulled  out  their  flag,  having  the  arms  and  colors 
of  the  Prince  of  Orange.  Surrendering  themselves,  they  stated  their 
history,  and  condition,  and  their  desire  of  getting  home.  The 
Japanese  were  kind,  "but  made  no  return  for  the  gifts"  of  the 
Dutchmen.  They  finally  got  to  Nagasaki  in  Japanese  junks,  and 
met  tl  eir  countrymen  at  D6shima.  The  annual  ship  from  Batavia 
was  then  just  about  to  return,  and  in  the  nick  of  time  the  waifs 

176  COREA. 

got  on  board,  reached  Batavia  November  20th,  sailed  for  Holland 
December  28th,  and  on  July  20,  1668,  stepped  ashore  at  home. 

Hamel,  the  supercargo  of  the  ship,  wrote  a  book  on  his  return, 
recounting  his  adventures  in  a  simple  and  straightforward  style. 
It  was  written  in  Dutch  and  shortly  after  translated  into  French, 
German,  and  English.  Four  editions  in  Dutch  are  known.  The 
English  version  may  be  found  in  full  in  the  Astley,  and  in  the 
Pinkerton,  Collections  of  Voyages  and  Travels. 

The  French  translator  indulges  in  skepticism  concerning 
Ham  el's  narrative,  questioning  especially  his  geographical  state- 
ments. Before  a  map  of  Corea,  with  the  native  sounds  even  but 
approximated,  it  will  be  seen  that  Ham  el's  story  is  a  piece  ot 
downright  unembroidered  truth.  It  is  indeed  to  be  regretted  that 
this  actual  observer  of  Corean  life,  people,  and  customs  gave  us  so 
little  information  concerning  them. 

The  fate  of  the  other  survivors  of  the  Sparrowhawk  crew  was 
never  known.  Perhaps  it  never  will  be  learned,  as  it  is  not  likely 
that  the  Coreans  would  take  any  pains  to  mark  the  site  of  their 
graves.  Yet  as  the  tomb  of  Will  Adams  was  found  in  Japan,  by  a 
reader  of  Hildreth's  book,  so  perhaps  some  inquiring  foreigner  in 
Corea  may  discover  the  site  of  the  graves  of  these  exiles,  and  mark 
their  resting-places. 

There  is  no  improbability  in  supposing  that  other  missing 
vessels,  previous  to  the  second  half  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
shared  the  fate  of  the  Sparrowhawk.  The  wrecks,  burned  for  the 
sake  of  the  iron,  would  leave  no  trace  ;  while  perhaps  many  ship- 
wrecked men  have  pined  in  captivity,  and  dying  lonely  in  a 
strange  land  have  been  put  in  unmarked  graves. 

At  this  point,  we  bring  to  an  end  our  sketch  of  the  ancient 
and  mediaeval  history  of  Corea.  Until  the  introduction  of  Chris- 
tianity into  the  peninsula,  the  hermit  nation  was  uninfluenced  by 
any  ideas  which  the  best  modern  life  claims  as  its  own.  As  with 
the  whole  world,  so  with  its  tiny  fraction  Corea,  the  door  of  ancient 
history  shut,  and  the  gate  of  modern  history  opened,  when  the 
religion  of  Jesus  moved  the  hearts  and  minds  of  men.  We  now 
glance  at  the  geography,  politics,  social  life,  and  religion  of  the 
Coreans ;  after  which  we  shall  narrate  the  story  of  their  national 
life  from  the  implanting  of  Christianity  until  their  rivulet  of  his- 
tory  flowed  into  the  stream  of  the  world's  history. 







THIS  province  bears  the  not  altogether  appropriate  name  of 
Peaceful  Quiet.  It  is  the  border  land  of  the  kingdom,  containing 
what  was  for  centuries  the  only  acknowledged  gate  of  entrance 
and  outlet  to  the  one  neighbor  which  Corea  willingly  acknowl- 
edged as  her  superior.  It  contains,  probably,  the  largest  area  of 
any  province,  unless  it  be  Ham-kiung.  Its  northern,  and  a  great 
part  of  its  western,  frontier  is  made  by  the  Yalu  Eiver,  called  also 
the  Ap-nok,  the  former  name  referring  to  its  sinuous  course,  mean- 
ing "  dragon's  windings,"  and  the  latter  after  its  deep  green  color. 

The  Yalu  is  the  longest  river  in  Corea.  Its  source  is  found 
near  the  40th  parallel.  Flowing  northwardly,  for  about  eighty 
miles,  the  stream  forms  the  boundary  between  Ping-an  and  Ham- 
kiung.  Then,  turning  to  the  westward,  it  receives  on  the  Manchu- 
rian  tdde  twelve  tributaries,  which  run  down  the  gorges  of  the 
Ever- White  Mountains.  Each  of  these  streams  is  named,  begin- 
ning vestwardly,  after  the  numerals  of  arithmetic.  The  waters  of 
so  m;iny  valleys  on  the  west,  as  well  as  on  the  north  and  east, 
emptying  into  the  Yalu,  make  it,  in  spring  and  fall,  a  turbulent 
streai  i,  which  sinuates  like  the  writhing  of  a  dragon  ;  whence  its 
name  In  the  summer,  its  waters  are  beautifully  clear,  and  blue 
or  gr<  en — the  Coreans  having  no  word  to  distinguish  between 
these  two  colors.  It  empties  by  three  mouths  into  the  Yellow 
Sea,  i  os  deltas,  or  islands,  being  completely  submerged  during  the 
melting  of  the  snows.  It  is  easily  navigable  for  junks  to  the  town 
of  Ch  m-son,  a  noted  trading  place,  sixty  miles  from  the  sea.  The 

180  COREA. 

valley  of  the  Yalu  is  extremely  fertile,  and  well  wooded,  and  the 
scenery  is  superb.  Its  navigation  was  long  interdicted  to  the  Chi- 
nese, but  steamers  and  gunboats  have  entered  it,  and  access  to  the 
fertile  valley  and  the  trade  of  the  region  will  be  gained  by  other 
nations.  The  Tong-kia  River  drains  the  neutral  strip. 

The  town  nearest  the  frontier,  and  the  gateway  of  the  king- 
dom, is  Ai-chiu.  It  is  situated  on  a  hill  overlooking  the  river,  and 
surrounded  by  a  wall  of  light-colored  stone.  The  annual  embassy 
always  departed  for  its  overland  journey  to  China  through  its 
gates.  Here  also  are  the  custom-house  and  vigilant  guards,  whose 
chief  business  it  was  to  scrutinize  all  persons  entering  or  leaving 
Corea  by  the  high  road,  which  traverses  the  town.  A  line  of  pa- 
trols and  guard-houses  picketed  the  river  along  a  length  of  over  a 
hundred  miles. 

Nevertheless,  most  of  the  French  missionaries  have  entered 
the  mysterious  peninsula  through  this  loophole,  disguising  them- 
selves as  wood-cutters,  crossing  the  Yalu  River  on  the  ice,  creeping 
through  the  water-drains  in  the  granite  wall,  and  passing  through 
this  town.  Or  they  have  been  met  by  friends  at  appointed  places 
along  the  border,  and  thence  have  travelled  to  the  capital. 

Through  this  exit  also,  Corea  sent  to  Peking  or  Mukden  the 
waifs  and  sailors  cast  on  her  shores.  A  number  of  shipwrecked 
Americans,  after  kind  treatment  at  the  hands  of  the  Coreans,  have 
thus  reached  their  homes  by  way  of  Mukden.  This  prosperous  city, 
having  a  population  of  over  two  hundred  thousand  souls,  and 
noted  for  its  manufactures,  especially  in  metal,  is  the  capital  of 
the  Chinese  province  of  Shing-king,  formerly  Liao  Tong.  It  is 
surrounded  by  a  long  wall  pierced  with  eight  gates,  one  of  which 
—that  to  the  northeast — is  called  "the  Corean  Gate."  Niu- 
chwang  has  also  a  "Corean  Gate." 

Fifty  miles  beyond  the  Corean  frontier  is  the  "Border  Gate" 
(Pien-mun),  at  which  there  was  a  fair  held  three  or  four  times  a 
year,  the  chief  markets  being  at  the  exit  and  return  of  the  Corean 
embassy  to  China.  The  value  of  the  products  here  sold  annually 
averaged  over  five  hundred  thousand  dollars.  In  the  central  apart- 
ment of  a  building  inhabited  at  either  end  by  Chinese  and  Coreau 
mandarins  respectively,  the  customs-officers  sat  to  collect  taxes  on 
the  things  bartered.  The  Corean  merchants  were  obliged  to  pay 
"  bonus  "  or  tribute  of  about  four  hundred  dollars  to  the  manda- 
rin of  Fung-wang  Chang,  the  nearest  Chinese  town,  who  came  in 
person  to  open  the  gates  of  the  building  for  the  spring  fair.  For 



the  privilege  of  the  two  autumn  fairs,  the  Coreans  were  mulcted 
but  half  the  sum,  as  the  gates  were  then  opened  by  an  underling 


Map  of  Ping-an  Province. 

Man(  hiu  official.     The  winter  fair  was  but  of  slight  importance. 
For  1  he  various  Chinese  goods,  and  European  cottons,  the  Coreans 

182  COREA. 

bartered  their  furs,  hides,  gold  dust,  ginseng,  and  the  mulberry 
paper  used  by  Chinese  tailors  for  linings,  and  for  windows. 

Ping-an  has  the  reputation  of  being  very  rich  in  mineral  and 
metallic  wealth.  Gold  and  silver  by  report  abound,  but  the  na- 
tives are  prohibited  by  the  government  from  working  the  mines. 
The  neutrality  of  the  strip  of  territory,  sixty  miles  wide  and  about 
three  hundred  miles  long,  and  drained  by  the  Tong-kia  Kiver, 
between  Cho-sen  and  Chin,  was  respected  by  the  Chinese  gov- 
ernment until  1875,  when  Li  Hung  Chung,  on  complaint  of  the 
king  of  Corea,  made  a  descent  on  the  Manchiu  outlaws  and  squat- 
ters settled  on  the  strip.  Having  despatched  a  force  of  troops, 
with  'gunboats  up  the  Yalu,  to  co-operate  with  them,  he  found  the 
region  overspread  with  cultivators.  The  eyes  of  the  viceroy  being 
opened  to  the  fertility  of  this  land,  and  the  navigability  of  the 
river,  he  proposed,  in  a  memorial  to  Peking,  that  the  land  be  incor- 
porated in  the  Chinese  domain,  but  that  a  wall  and  ditch  be  built 
to  isolate  Corea,  and  that  all  Chinese  trespassers  on  Corean  ground 
be  handed  over  to  the  mandarins  to  be  sent  prisoners  to  Mukden, 
and  to  be  there  beheaded,  while  Chinese  resisting  capture  should 
be  lawfully  slain  by  Coreans.  To  this  the  Seoul  government 
agreed.  By  this  clever  diplomacy  the  Chinese  gained  back  a 
huge  slice  of  valuable  land,  probably  without  the  labor  of  digging 
ditches  or  building  palisades.  The  old  wall  of  stakes  still  remains, 
in  an  extremely  dilapidated  condition.  Off  the  coast  are  a  few 
islands,  and  a  number  of  shallow  banks,  around  which  shell-  and 
scale-fish  abound.  Chinese  junks  come  in  fleets  every  year  in  the 
fishing  season,  but  their  presence  is  permitted  only  on  condition 
of  their  never  setting  foot  on  shore.  In  reality  much  contraband 
trade  is  done  by  the  smugglers  along  the  coast.  A  group  of  isl- 
ands near  the  mouth  was  long  the  nest  of  Chinese  pirates,  but 
these  have  been  broken  up  by  Li  Hung  Chang's  gunboats.  Next 
to  the  Yalu,  the  most  important  river  of  the  province  is  the  Ta- 
tong  or  Ping-an,  which  discharges  a  great  volume  of  fresh  water 
annually  into  the  sea.  A  number  of  large  towns  and  cities  are 
situated  on  or  near  its  banks,  and  the  high  road  follows  the  course 
of  the  river.  It  is  the  Rubicon  of  Cho-sen  history,  and  at  various 
epochs  in  ancient  times  Was  the  boundary  river  of  China,  or  of 
the  rival  states  within  the  peninsula.  About  fifty  miles  from  its 
mouth  is  the  city  of  Ping-an,  the  metropolis  of  the  province,  and 
the  royal  seat  of  authority,  from  before  the  Christian  era,  to  the 
tenth  century.  ,  Its  situation  renders  it  a  natural  stronghold.  It 


has;  been  many  times  besieged  by  Chinese  and  Japanese  armies, 
and  near  it  many  battles  have  been  fought.  "  The  General  Sher- 
man affair,"  in  1866,  in  which  the  crew  of  the  American  schooner 
were  murdered — which  occasioned  the  sending  of  the  United 
States  naval  expedition  in  1871 — took  place  in  front  of  the  city  of 
Ping-an.  Commander  J.  C.  Febiger,  in  the  U.  S.  S.  Shenandoah, 
visited  the  mouths  of  the  river  in  1869,  and  while  vainly  waiting 
foi  the  arrest  of  the  murderers,  surveyed  the  inlet,  to  which  he 
gave  the  name  of  "  Shenandoah." 

By  official  enumeration,  Ping-an  contains  293,400  houses,  and 
tho  muster-rolls  give  174,538  as  the  number  of  men  capable  of 
military  duty.  The  governor  resides  at  Ping-an. 

There  is  considerable  diversity  of  character  between  the  in- 
habitants of  the  eight  provinces.  Those  of  the  two  most  north- 
ern, particularly  of  Ping-an,  are  more  violent  in  temper  than  the 
other  provincials.  Very  few  nobles  or  official  dignitaries  live  them,  hence  very  few  of  the  refinements  of  the  capital  are 
to  be  found  there.  They  are  not  over  loyal  to  the  reigning  dy- 
nasty, and  are  believed  to  cherish  enmity  against  it.  The  govern- 
ment keeps  vigilant  watch  over  them,  repressing  the  first  show  of 
insubordination,  lest  an  insurrection  difficult  to  quell  should  once 
gain  headway.  It  is  from  these  provinces  that  most  of  the  refugees 
into  Eussian  territory  come.  It  was  among  these  men  that  the 
"  General  Sherman  affair  "  took  place,  and  it  is  highly  probable 
that  even  if  the  regent  were  really  desirous  of  examining  into  the 
outrage,  he  was  afraid  to  do  so,  when  the  strong  public  sentiment 
WES  wholly  on  the  side  of  the  murderers  of  the  Sherman's  crew. 


All  the  eight  circuits  into  which  Cho-sen  is  divided  are  mari- 
tii  le  provinces,  but  this  is  the  only  one  which  takes  its  name  from 
th  3  body  of  water  on  which  its  borders  lie,  jutting  out  into  the 
Whang-hai,  or  Yellow  Sea,  its  extreme  point  lies  neatest  to  Shan- 
tuig  promontory  in  China.  Its  coast  line  exceeds  its  land  fron- 
tif  rs.  In  the  period  anterior  to  the  Christian  era,  Whang-hai,  was 
oc3upied  by  the  tribes  called  the  Mahan,  and  from  the  second  to 
th-3  sixth  century,  by  the  kingdom  of  Hiaksai.  It  has  been  the 
ca  nping-ground  of  the  armies  of  many  nations.  Here,  besides 
th  3  border  forays  which  engaged  the  troops  of  the  rival  kingdoms, 
th3  Japanese,  Chinese,  Mongols,  and  Manchius,  have  contended 

184  COREA. 

for  victory  again  and  again.  The  ravages  of  war,  added  to  a  some- 
what sterile  soil,  are  the  causes  of  Whang-hai  being  the  least 
populated  province  of  the  eight  in  the  peninsula.  From  very  an- 
cient times  the  Corean  peninsula  has  been  renowned  for  its  pearls. 
These  are  of  superior  lustre  and  great  size.  Even  before  the 
Christian  era,  when  the  people  lived  in  caves  and  mud  huts,  and 
before  they  had  horses  or  cattle,  the  barbaric  inhabitants  of  this 
region  wore  necklaces  of  pearls,  and  sewed  them  on  their  cloth- 
ing, row  upon  row.  They  amazed  the  invading  hordes  of  the 
Han  dynasty,  with  such  incongruous  mixture  of  wealth  and  sav- 
agery ;  as  the  Indians,  careless  of  the  yellow  dust,  surprised  by 
their  indifference  to  it  the  gold-greedy  warriors  of  Balboa.  Later 
on,  the  size  and  brilliancy  of  Corean  pearls  became  famous  all 
over  China.  They  were  largely  exported.  The  Chinese  merchant 
braved  the  perils  of  the  sea,  and  of  life  among  the  rude  Co- 
reans,  to  win  lustrous  gems  of  great  price,  which  he  bartered 
when  at  home  for  sums  which  made  him  quickly  rich.  In  the 
twelfth  century  the  fame  of  these  "  Eastern  pearls,"  as  they  were 
then  called,  and  which  outrivalled  even  those  from  the  Tonquin 
fisheries,  became  the  cause  of  an  attempted  conquest  of  the  penin- 
sula, the  visions  of  wealth  acting  as  a  lure  to  the  would-be  inva- 
ders. It  may  even  be  that  the  Corean  pearl  fisheries  were  known  by 
fame  to  the  story-tellers  of  the  "Arabian  Nights  Entertainments." 
Much  of  the  mystic  philosophy  of  China  concerning  pearls  is  held 
also  by  the  Coreans.  The  Corean  Elysium  is  a  lake  of  pearls.  In 
burying  the  dead,  those  who  can  afford  it,  fill  the  mouth  of  the 
corpse  with  three  pearls,  which,  if  large,  will,  it  is  believed,  pre- 
serve the  dead  body  from  decay.  This  emblem  of  three  flashing 
pearls,  is  much  in  vogue  in  native  art.  The  gems  are  found  on 
the  banks  lying  off  the  coast  of  this  province,  as  well  as  in  the 
archipelago  to  the  south,  and  at  Quelpart.  The  industry  is,  at 
present,  utterly  neglected.  The  pearls  are  kept,  but  no  use  seems 
to  be  made  of  the  brilliant  nacre  of  the  mussel-shells,  which  are 
exported  to  Japan,  to  be  used  in  inlaying. 

More  valuable  to  the  modern  people  than  the  now  almost  aban- 
doned pearl  mussel-beds,  are  the  herring  fisheries,  which,  during 
the  season,  attract  fleets  of  junks  and  thousands  of  fishermen  from 
the  northern  coast  provinces  of  China.  Opposite,  at  a  distance  of 
about  eighty  miles  as  the  crow  flies,  measuring  from  land's  end  to 
land's  end,  is  the  populous  province  of  Shantung,  or  "  Country 
east  of  the  mountains."  On  the  edge  of  this  promontory  are  the 



cities  of  Chifu  and  Teng  Chow,  while  further  to  the  east  is  Tien- 
tsin, the  seaport  of  Peking.  From  the  most  ancient  times,  Chi- 
nes? armadas  have  sailed,  and  invading  armies  have  embarked  for 
Corea  from  these  ports.  Over  and  over  again  has  the  river  Ta- 
ton^  been  crowded  with  fleets  of  junks,  fluttering  the  dragon-ban- 
ners at  their  peaks.  From  the  Shantung  headlands,  also,  Chinese 
pirates  have  sailed  over  to  the  tempting  coasts  and  green  islands 
of  Corea,  to  ravage,  burn,  and  kill.  To  guard  against  these  inva- 
ders, and  to  notify  the  arrival  of  foreigners,  signal  fires  are  lighted 
on  the  hill-tops,  which  form  a  cordon  of  flame  and  speed  the  alarm 
from  coast  to  capital  in  a  few  hours.  These  pyrographs  or  fire 

Map  of  the  Yellow-sea  Province. 

signals  are  called  "Pong-wa."  At  Mok-mie'  san,  a  mountain  south 
of  the  capital,  the  fire-messages  of  the  three  southern  provinces 
arc  received.  By  day,  instead  of  the  pillars  of  fire,  are  clouds  of 
smoke,  made  by  heaping  wet  chopped  straw  or  rice-husks  on  the 
blaze.  Instantly  a  dense  white  column  rises  in  the  air,  which,  .to 
the  sentinels  from  peak  to  peak,  is  eloquent  of  danger.  In  more 
peaceful  times,  Corean  timber  has  been  largely  exported  to  Chifu, 
an<  I  tribute-bearing  ships  have  sailed  over  to  Tientsin.  The  Chi- 
nese fishermen  usually  appear  off  the  coast  of  this  province  in  the 
third  month,  or  April,  remaining  until  June,  when  their  white 
sails,  bent  homeward,  sink  from  the  gaze  of  the  vigilant  sentinels 

186  COREA. 

on  the  hills,  who  watch  continually  lest  the  Chinese  set  foot  on 
shore.  This  they  are  forbidden  to  do  on  pain  of  death.  In  spite 
of  the  vigilance  of  the  soldiers,  however,  a  great  deal  of  smuggling 
is  done  at  night,  between  the  Coreans  and  Chinese  boatmen,  at 
this  time,  and  the  French  missionaries  have  repeatedly  passed  the 
barriers  of  this  forbidden  land  by  disembarking  from  Chifu  junks 
off  this  coast.  The  island  of  Merin  (Merin-to)  has,  on  several 
occasions,  been  trodden  by  the  feet  of  priests  who  afterward 
became  martyrs.  At  one  time,  in  June,  1865,  four  Frenchmen  en- 
tered "the  lion's  den"  from  this  rendezvous.  There  is  a  great 
bank  of  sand  and  many  islands  off  the  coast,  the  most  important 
of  the  latter  being  the  Sir  James  Hall  group,  wThich  was  visited, 
in  1816,  by  Captains  Maxwell  and  Hall,  in  the  ships  Lyra  and  Al- 
ceste.  These  forest-clad  and  well-cultivated  islands  were  named 
after  the  president  of  the  Edinburgh  Geographical  Society,  the 
father  of  the  gallant  sailor  and  lively  author  who  drove  the  first 
British  keel  through  the  unknown  waters  of  the  Yellow  Sea.  East- 
ward from  this  island  cluster  is  a  large  bay  and  inlet  near  the  head 
of  which  is  the  fortified  city  of  Chan-yon. 

In  January,  1867,  Commander  R  W.  Shufeldt,  in  the  U.  S.  S. 
Wachusett,  visited  this  inlet  to  obtain  redress  for  the  murder  of 
the  crew  of  the  American  schooner  General  Sherman,  and  while 
vainly  waiting,  surveyed  portions  of  it,  giving  the  name  of  Wachu- 
sett Bay  to  the  place  of  anchorage.  Judging  from  native  maps, 
the  scale  of  the  chart  made  from  this  survey  was  on  too  large  a 
scale,  though  the  recent  map-makers  of  Tokio  have  followed  it. 
The  southern  coast  also  is  dotted  with  groups  of  islands,  and  made 
dangerous  by  large  shoals.  One  of  the  approaches  to  the  national 
capital  and  the  commercial  city  of  Sunto,  or  Kai-seng,  is  navi- 
gable for  junks,  through  a  tortuous  channel  which  threads  the  vast 
sand-banks  formed  by  the  Han  River.  Hai-chiu,  the  capital,  is 
near  the  southern  central  coast,  and  Whang-chiu,  an  old  baronial 
walled  city,  is  in  the  north,  on  the  Ta-tong  Eiver,  now,  as  of  old, 
a  famous  boundary  line. 

.  Though  Whang-hai  is  not  reckoned  rich,  being  only  the  sixth 
in  order  of  the  eight  circuits,  yet  there  are  several  products  of 
importance.  Kock,  or  fossil  salt,  is  plentiful.  Flints  for  fire-arms 
and  household  use  were  obtained  here  chiefly,  though  the  best 
gun-flints  came  from  China.  Lucifer  matches  and  percussion 
rifles  have  destroyed,  or  will  soon  destroy,  this  ancient  industry. 
One  district  produces  excellent  ginseng,  which  finds  a  ready  sale, 


and  even  from  ancient  times  Whang-hai' s  pears  have  been  cele- 
brated. Splendid  yellow  varnish,  almost  equal  to  gilding,  is  also 
made  here.  The  native  varnishers  are  expert  and  tasteful  in  its 
us  3,  though  far  behind  the  inimitable  Japanese.  Fine  brushes 
for  pens,  made  of  the  hair  of  wolves'  tails,  are  also  in  repute 
among  students  and  merchants. 

The  high  road  from  the  capital,  after  passing  through  Sunto, 
winds  through  the  eastern  central  part,  and  crosses  a  range  of 
mountains,  the  scenery  from  which  is  exceedingly  fine.  Smaller 
roids  thread  the  border  of  the  province  and  the  larger  towns,  but 
a  ,*reat  portion  of  Whang-hai  along  its  central  length,  from  east 
to  west,  seems  to  be  mountainous,  and  by  no  means  densely 
pc  pulated.  There  are,  in  all,  twenty-eight  cities  with  magistrates. 

Whang-hai  was  never  reckoned  by  the  missionaries  as  among 
their  most  promising  fields,  yet  on  their  map  we  count  fifteen 
or  more  signs  of  the  cross,  betokening  the  presence  of  their  con- 
verts, and  its  soil,  like*  that  of  the  other  provinces,  has  more  than 
or  ce  been  reddened  by  the  blood  of  men  who  preferred  to  die  for 
their  convictions,  rather  than  live  the  worthless  life  of  the  pagan 
renegade.  Most  of  the  victims  suffered  at  Hai-chiu,  the  capital, 
though  Whang-chiu,  in  the  north,  shares  the  same  sinister  fame 
in  a  lesser  degree.  The  people  of  Whang-hai  are  said,  by  the 
S(  oul  folks,  to  be  narrow,  stupid,  and  dull.  They  bear  an  ill 
n?  me  for  avarice,  bad  faith,  and  a  love  of  lying  quite  unusual  even 
anong  Coreans.  The  official  enumeration  of  houses  and  men  fit 
for  military  duty,  is  103,200  of  the  former  and  87,170  of  the 


Kiung-kei,  the  smallest  of  the  eight  circuits,  is  politically  the 
rcyal  or  court  province,  and  physically  the  basin  of  the  largest 
river  inside  the  peninsula.  The  tremendous  force  of  its  current, 
and  the  volume  of  its  waters  bring  down  immense  masses  of  silt 
annually.  Beginning  at  a  point  near  the  capital,  wide  sand-banks 
ai  e  formed,  which  are  bare  at  low  water,  but  are  flooded  in  time 
ol  rain,  or  at  the  melting  of  the  spring  snows.  The  tides  rise  to 
tl  e  height  of  twenty  or  thirty  feet,  creating  violent  eddies  and 
ci  irrents,  in  which  the  management  of  ships  is  a  matter  of  great 
d  mculty.  The  Han  is  navigable  for  foreign  vessels,  certainly  as 
far  as  the  capital,  as  two  French  men-of-war  proved  in  1866,  and 
it  may  be  ascended  still  farther  in  light  steamers.  The  causes 



of  the  violence,  coldness,  and  rapidity  of  the  currents  of  Han 
River  (called  Salt  or  Salee  on  our  charts),  which  have  baffled 
French  and  American  steamers,  will  be  recognized  by  a  study  of 
its  sources.  The  head  waters  of  this  stream  are  found  in  the  dis- 
tant province  of  Kang-wen,  nearly  the  whole  breadth  of  the  penin- 
sula from  the  mouth.  Almost  the  entire  area  of  this  province  of 
the  river-sources,  including  the  western  watershed  of  the  moun- 
tain range  that  walls  the  eastern  coast,  is  drained  by  the  tributa- 
ries which  form  the  river,  which  also  receives  affluents  from  two 
other  provinces.  Pouring  their  united  volume  past  the  capital, 
shifting  channels  and  ever  new  and  unexpected  bars  and  flats  are 

Map  of  the  Capital  Province. 

formed,  rendering  navigation,  and  especially  warlike  naval  opera- 
tions, very  difficult.  Its  channel  is  very  hard  to  find  from  the  sea. 
The  French,  in  1845,  attempting  its  exploration,  were  foiled. 
Like  most  rivers  in  Cho-sen,  the  Han  has  many  local  names. 

The  city  of  Han- Yang,  or  Seoul,  is  situated  on  the  north  side  of 
the  river,  about  thirty-five  miles  from  its  mouth,  measuring  by  a 
straight  line,  or  fifty  miles  if  reckoned  by  the  channel  of  the  river. 
It  lies  in  37°  30'  north  latitude,  and  127°  4'  longitude,  east  from 
Greenwich.  The  name  Han-yang,  means  "the  fortress  on  the 
Han  River."  The  common  term  applied  to  the  royal  city  is  Seoul, 
which  means  "the  capital,"  just  as  the  Japanese  called  the  capital 
of  their  country  Miako,  or  Kio,  instead  of  saying  Kioto.  Seoul  is 


properly  a  common  noun,  but  by  popular  use  has  become  a  proper 
name,  which,  in  English,  may  be  correctly  written  with  a  capital 
initial.  According  to  the  locality  whence  they  come,  the  natives 
pronounce  the  name  Say'-ool,  Shay'-ool,  or  Say'-oor.  The  city  is 
often  spoken  of  as  "  the  king's  residence,"  and  on  foreign  maps  is 
marked  "King-ki  Tao,"  which  is  the  name  of  the  province.  The 
city  proper  lies  distant  nearly  a  league  from  the  river  bank,  but 
lias  suburbs,  extending  down  to  the  sand-flats.  A  pamphlet  lately 
published  in  the  city  gives  it  30,723  houses,  which,  allowing  five 
~n  a  house,  would  give  a  population  of  over  150,000  souls.  The 
:  latural  advantages  of  Seoul  are  excellent.  On  the  north  a  high 
:.*ange  of  the  Ho  Mountain  rises  like  a  wall,  to  the  east  towers  tho 
Ridge  of  Barriers,  the  mighty  flood  of  the  Han  rolls  to  the  south, 
-i  bight  of  which  washes  the  western  suburb. 

The  scenery  from  the  capital  is  magnificent,  and  those  walking 
;ilong  the  city  walls,  as  they  rise  over  the  hill-crests  and  bend  into 
~he  valleys,  can  feast  their  eyes  on  the  luxuriant  verdure  and  glori- 
ous mountain  views  for  which  this  country  is  noted.  The  walls  of 
*the  city  are  of  crenellated  masonry  of  varying  height,  averaging 
ibout  twenty  feet,  with  arched  stone  bridges  spanning  the  water- 
courses, as  seen  in  the  reproduced  photograph  on  page  79.  The 
streets  are  narrow  and  tortuous.  The  king's  castle  is  in  the  north- 
ern part.  The  high  roads  to  the  eight  points  of  the  compass  start 
from  the  palace,  through  the  city  gates.  Within  sight  from  the 
river  are  the  O-pong  san,  and  the  Sam-kak  san  or  three-peaked 
mountain,  which  the  French  have  named  Cock's  Comb.  North  of 
the  city  is  Cho-kei,  or  tide-valley,  in  which  is  a  waterfall  forty  feet 
high.  This  spot  is  a  great  resort  for  tourists  and  picnic  parties 
in  the  spring  and  summer.  From  almost  any  one  of  the  hills  near 
the  city  charming  views  of  the  island-dotted  river  may  be  ob- 
tained, and  the  sight  of  the  spring  floods,  or  of  the  winter  ice 
breaking  up  and  shooting  the  enormous  blocks  of  ice  with  terrific 
force  down  the  current,  that  piles  them  up  into  fantastic  shapes 
ir  strews  the  shores,  is  much  enjoyed  by  the  people.  Inundations 
are  frequent  and  terrible  in  this  province,  but  usually  the  water 
subsides  quickly.  Not  much  harm  is  done,  and  the  floods  enrich 
the  soil,  except  where  they  deposit  sand  only.  There  are  few 
large  bridges  over  the  rivers,  but  in  the  cities  and  towns,  stone 
bridges,  constructed  with  an  arch  and  of  good  masonry,  are  built. 
The  islands  in  the  river  near  the  capital  are  inhabited  by  fisher- 
men, who  pay  their  taxes  in  fish.  Another  large  stream  which 



joins  its  waters  with  the  Han,  within  a  few  miles  from  its  mouth 
near  Kang-wa  Island,  is  the  Rin-chin  River,  whose  head  waters  are 
among  the  mountains  at  the  north  of  Kang-wen,  within  thirty 
miles  of  the  newly-opened  port  of  Gen-san  on  the  eastern  coast. 
Several  important  towns  are  situated  on  or  near  its  banks,  and  it 
is  often  mentioned  in  the  histories  which  detail  the  movements  of 
the  armies,  which  from  China,  Japan,  and  the  teeming  North,  have 
often  crossed  and  recrossed  it. 

Naturally,  we  expect  to  find  the  military  geography  of  this 
province  well  studied  by  the  authorities,  and  its  strategic  points 
strongly  defended.  An  inspection  of  the  map  shows  us  that  we 

Military  Geography  of  Seoul. 

are  not  mistaken.  Four  great  fortresses  guard  the  approaches 
to  the  royal  city.  These  are  Suwen  to  the  south,  Kwang-chiu  to 
the  southeast,  Sunto  or  Kai-seng  to  the  north,  and  Kang-wa  to  the 
west.  All  these  fortresses  have  been  the  scene  of  siege  and 
battle  in  time  past.  On  the  walls  of  the  first  three,  the  rival 
banners  of  the  hosts  of  Ming  from  China  and  of  Taiko  from 
Japan  were  set  in  alternate  succession  by  the  victors  who  held 
them  during  the  Japanese  occupation  of  the  country,  between  the 
years  1592  and  1597.  The  Manchiu  standards  in  1637,  and  the 
French  eagles  in  1866,  were  planted  on  the  ramparts  of  Kang-wa. 
Besides  these  castled  cities,  there  are  forts  and  redoubts  along  the 


river  banks,  crowning  most  of  the  commanding  headlands,  or  points 
of  vantage.  Over  these  the  stars  and  stripes  floated  for  three 
days,  in  1871,  when  the  American  forces  captured  these  strong- 
holds. In  most  cases  the  walls  of  cities  and  forts  are  not  over  ten 
feet  high,  though,  in  those  of  the  first  order,  a  height  of  twenty- 
fiv.e  feet  is  obtained.  None  of  them  would  offer  serious  difficulty 
to  a»  attacking  force  possessing  modern  artillery. 

Kai-seng,  or  Sunto,  is  one  of  the  most  important,  if  not  the 
chief,  commercial  city  in  the  kingdom,  and  from  960  to  1392,  it 
was  the  national  capital.  The  chief  staple  of  manufacture  and 
sale  is  the  coarse  cotton  cloth,  white  and  colored,  which  forms 
the  national  dress.  Kang-wa,  on  the  island  of  the  same  name  at 
th«3  mouth  of  the  Han  Kiver,  is  the  favorite  fortress,  to  which  the 
royal  family  are  sent  for  safety  in  time  of  war,  or  are  banished  in 
case  of  deposition.  Kang-wa  means  "the  river-flower."  During 
the  Manchiu  invasion,  the  king  fled  here,  and,  for  a  while,  made 
it  his  capital.  Kwang-chiu  was  anciently  the  capital  of  the  old 
kingdom  of  Hiaksai,  which  included  this  province,  and  flourished 
from  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era  until  the  Tang  dynasty 
of  China  destroyed  it  in  the  seventh  century.  Kwang-chiu  has 
suffered  many  sieges.  Other  important  towns  near  the  capital  are 
Tong-chin,  opposite  Kang-wa,  Kum-po,  and  Pupion,  all  situated 
on  the  high  road.  In-chiun,  situated  on  Imperatrice  Gulf,  is  the 
pert  newly  opened  to  foreign  trade  and  residence.  The  Japanese 
pronounce  the  characters  with  which  the  name  is  written,  Nin-sen, 
and  the  Chinese  Jen-chuan.  At  this  place  the  American  and  Chi- 
nese treaties  were  signed  in  June,  1882  ;  Commodore  Shufeldt,  in 
the  steam  corvette  Swatara,  being  -the  plenipotentiary  of  the 
United  States.  Situated  on  the  main  road  from  the  southern 
provinces,  and  between  the  capital  and  the  sea,  the  location  is  a 
good  one  for  trade,  while  the  dangerous  channel  of  the  Han  Kiver 
is  avoided. 

Most  of  the  islands  lying  off  the  coast  are  well  wooded ;  many 
are  inhabited,  and  on  a  number  of  them  shrines  are  erected,  and 
h(  rmits  live,  who  are  regarded  as  sacred.  Their  defenceless  posi- 
tion offer  tempting  inducements  to  the  Chinese  pirates,  who  have 
often  ravaged  them.  Kiung-kei  has  been  the  scene  of  battles  and 
contending  armies  and  nations  and  the  roadway  for  migrations 
from  the  pre-historic  time  to  the  present  decade.  The  great  high- 
wiys  of  the  kingdom  converge  upon  its  chief  city.  In  it  also 
C'oristianity  has  witnessed  its  grandest  triumphs  and  bloodiest 

192  COREA. 

defeats.  Over  and  over  again  the  seed  of  the  church  has  been 
planted  in  the  biood  of  its  martyrs.  Ka-pion,  east  of  Seoul,  is  the 
cradle  of  the  faith,  the  home  of  its  first  convert. 

For  political  purposes,  this  "home  province  "  is  divided  into 
the  left  and  right  divisions,  of  which  the  former  has  twenty-two, 
and  the  latter  fourteen  districts.  The  kam-sa,  or  governor,  lives 
at  the  capital,  but  outside  of  the  walls,  as  he  has  little  or  no  au- 
thority in  the  city  proper.  His  residence  is  near  the  west  gate. 
The  enumeration  of  houses  and  people  gives,  exclusive  of  the 
capital,  136,000  of  the  former,  and  680,000  of  the  latter,  of  whom 
106,573  are  enrolled  as  soldiers.  The  inhabitants  of  the  capital 
province  enjoy  the  reputation,  among  the  other  provincials,  of 
being  light-headed,  fickle,  and  much  given  to  luxury  and  pleasure. 
"  It  is  the  officials  of  this  province,"  they  say,  "  who  give  the  cue 
to  those  throughout  the  eight  provinces,  of  rapacity,  prodigality, 
and  love  of  display."  Official  grandees,  nobles,  literary  men,  and 
professionals  generally  are  most  numerous  in  Kiung-kei,  and  so, 
it  may  be  added,  are  singing  and  dancing  girls  and  people  who 
live  to  amuse  others.  When  fighting  is  to  be  done,  in  time  of 
war,  the  government  usually  calls  on  the  northern  provinces  to 
furnish  soldiers.  From  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  history  of  this 
part  of  Corea,  we  see  that  the  inhabitants  most  anciently  known 
to  occupy  it  were  the  independent  clans  called  the  Ma-han,  which 
about  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era  were  united  into  the 
kingdom  of  Hiaksai,  which  existed  until  its  destruction  by  the 
Tang  dynasty  of  China,  in  the  seventh  century.  From  that  time 
until  930  A.D.  it  formed  a  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Shinra,  which  in 
turn  made  way  for  united  Korai,  which  first  gave  political  unity 
to  the  peninsula,  and  lasted  until  1392,  when  the  present  dy- 
nasty with  Cho-sen,  or  Corea,  as  we  now  know  it,  was  established. 
The  capital  cities  in  succession  from  Hiaksai  to  Cho-sen  were, 
Kwang-chiu,  Sunto,  and  Han-yang. 


The  province  of  Serene  Loyalty  lies  mostly  between  the  thirty- 
sixth  and  thirty-seventh  parallel.  Its  principal  rivers  are  the 
Keum,  flowing  into  Basil's  Bay,  and  another,  which  empties  into 
Prince  Jerome  Gulf.  Its  northeast  corner,  is  made  by  the  Han 
River  bending  in  a  loop  around  the  White  Cloud  (Paik  Un)  Moun- 
tain. Fertile  flats  and  valleys  abound.  The  peninsula  of  Nai-po 


(within  the  waters),  in  the  northwestern  corner,  is  often  called 
the  "Granary  of  the  Kingdom."  Most  of  the  rice  of  the  Nai-po, 
and  -he  province  generally,  is  raised  for  export  to  the  capital  and 
the  north.  In  the  other  circuits  the  rice  lands  are  irrigated  by 
leading  the  water  from  the  streams  through  each  field,  which  is  di- 
vided from  the  other  by  little  walls  or  barriers  of  earth,  while  in 
this  region,  and  in  Chulla,  the  farmers  more  frequently  make 
greal  reservoirs  or  ponds,  in  which  water  is  stored  for  use  in  dry 
weat'ier.  The  mountains  are  the  great  reservoirs  of  moisture,  for 
in  al  the  peninsula  there  is  not  a  lake  of  noticeable  size.  The 
coast  line  is  well  indented  with  bays  and  harbors,  and  the  run  to 
Shantung  across  the  Yellow  Sea  is  easily  made  by  junks,  and  even 
in  oj:  en  boats.  On  this  account  the  native  Christians  and  French 
missionaries  have  often  chosen  this  province  as  their  gate  of  entry 
into  ~;he  "land  of  martyrs." 

In  the  history  of  Corean  Christianity  this  province  will  ever 
be  remembered  as  the  nursery  of  the  faith.  Its  soil  has  been 
most  richly  soaked  with  the  blood  of  the  native  believers.  With 
unimportant  exceptions,  every  town  along  its  northern  border,  and 
especially  in  the  Nai-po,  has  been  sown  with  the  seeds  of  the  faith. 
The  Jirst  converts  and  confessors,  the  most  devoted  adherents  of 
their  French  teachers,  the  most  gifted  and  intelligent  martyrs,  were 
from  Nai-po,  and  it  is  nearly  certain  that  the  fires  of  Roman  Chris- 
tianiiy  still  smoulder  here,  and  will  again  burst  into  flame  at  the 
first  fanning  of  favorable  events.  The  three  great  highways  from 
Fusa:i  to  the  capital' cross  this  province  in  the  northeastern  portion. 
Over  these  roads  the  rival  Japanese  armies  of  invasion,  led  by 
Konishi  and  Kato,  passed  in  jealous  race  in  1592,  reaching  the 
capital,  after  fighting  and  reducing  castles  on  the  way,  in  eighteen 
days  after  disembarkation.  Chion-Chiu,  the  fortress  on  whose 
fate  the  capital  depended,  lies  in  the  northeast,  where  two  of  the 
roads  converge.  The  western,  or  sea  road,  that  comes  up  from 
the  south,  hugs  the  shore  through  the  entire  length  of  the  prov- 
ince. Others,  along  which  the  Japanese  armies  marched  in  1592, 
and  again  in  1597,  traverse  the  central  part.  Along  one  of  these 
roads  the  captive  Hollanders,  almost  the  first  Europeans  in  Corea, 
rode  n  1663,  and  one  of  the  cities  of  which  Hamel  speaks,  Kon- 
sio  (Kong-Chiu),  is  the  capital  and  residence  of  the  provincial 
gover  nor. 

TJIG  bays  and  islands,  which  have  been  visited  by  foreign  navi- 
gator <,  retain  their  names  on  European  or  Japanese  charts.  Some 



of  these  are  not  very  complimentary,  as  Deception  Bay,  Insult 
Island,  and  False  Eiver.  At-  Basil's  Bay,  named  after  Captain 
Basil  Hall,  Gutzlaff  also  landed  in  1832,  planted  potatoes,  and  left 
seeds  and  books.  The  archipelago  to  the  northwest  was,  in  1866, 
named  after  the  Prince  Imperial,  who  met  his  death  in  Zululand 
in  1878.  Prince  Jerome's  Gulf  is  well  known  as  the  scene  of  the 
visits  of  the  Eover  and  the  Emperor,  with  the  author  of  "A  For- 
bidden Land"  on  board.  Haimi,  a  town  several  times  mentioned 
by  him,  is  at  the  head  of  Shoal  Gulf,  which  runs  up  into  the 
Nai-po.  Two  other  bays,  named  Caroline  and  Deception,  indent 
the  Nai-po  peninsula. 

Map  of  Chung-chong  Province. 

The  large  shoal  off  the  coast  is  called  Chasseriau.  Other  wide 
and  dangerous  shoals  line  parts  of  the  coast,  making  navigation 
exceedingly  difficult.  Fogs  are  frequent  and  very  dense,  shroud- 
ing all  landmarks  for  hours.  The  tides  and  currents  are  very 
strong,  rising  in  some  places  even  as  high  as  sixty  feet.  The  in- 
ternational body-snatching  expedition,  undertaken  by  a  French 
priest,  a  German  merchant,  and  an  American  interpreter,  in  1867, 
to  obtain  the  bones  or  ancestral  relics  of  the  Eegent,  was  planned 
to  take  advantage  of  a  certain  "nick  of  time."  The  river  empty- 
ing into  the  Prince  Jerome  Gulf,  runs  some  thirty  miles  inland, 
and  can  be  ascended  by  a  barge,  or  very  light-draught  steamer,  only 
within  the  period  of  thirty  hours  during  spring  tides,  when  the 


water  rises  to  a  height  of  three  feet  at  the  utmost,  while  during 
the  rest  of  the  month  it  dries  up  completely.  On  account  of 
delays,  through  grounding,  miscalculated  distances,  and  the  bur- 
glar-proof masonry  of  Corean  tombs,  the  scheme  failed.  The  nar- 
rative of  this  remarkable  expedition  is  given  in  a  certain  book  on 
Corea,  and  in  the  proceedings  of  the  United  States  Consular  Court 
at  Saanghae,  China,  for  the  year  1867. 

The  flora  is  a  brilliant  feature  of  the  summer  landscape. 
Tiger-lilies  and  showy  composite,  asters,  cactus  plants,  cruciferse, 
labiatse,  and  many  other  European  species  abound  side  by  side 
with  tropical  varieties.  The  air  is  full  of  insects,  and  the  number 
and  variety  of  the  birds  exceed  those  of  Japan.  Pigeons,  butcher- 
birds, fly-catchers,  woodpeckers,  thrushes,  larks,  blackbirds,  king- 
fishers, wrens,  spoonbills,  quail,  curlew,  titmouse,  have  been  no- 
ticed. The  ever-present  black  crows  contrast  with  the  snowy 
her 011,  which  often  stand  in  rows  along  the  watercourses,  while 
on  the  reefs  the  cormorant,  sea-gulls,  and  many  kinds  of  ducks 
and  diving  birds,  many  of  them  being  of  species  differing  from 
those  in  Europe,  show  the  abundance  of  winged  life.  The  archi- 
pelago and  the  peninsula  alike,  are  almost  virgin  soil  to  the  stu- 
dent of  natural  history  and  the  man  of  science  will  yet,  in  this 
secluded  nook  of  creation,  solve  many  an  interesting  problem  con- 
cerning the  procession  of  life  on  the  globe.  So  far  as  known,  the 
Core; ins  seem  far  behind  the  Japanese  in  the  study  and  classifica- 
tion of  animate  nature. 

The  Coreans  are  not  a  seafaring  people.  They  do  not  sail  out 
from  land,  except  upon  rare  occasions.  A  steamer  is  yet,  to  most 
Coreans,  a  wonderful  thing.  The  common  folks  point  to  one,  and 
call  it  "  a  divine  ship."  The  reason  of  this  is,  that  they  think  the 
country  of  steamships  so  utterly  at  the  ends  of  the  earth,  that  to 
pass  over  ten  million  leagues,  and  endure  the  winds  and  waves, 
could  not  be  done  by  human  aid,  and  therefore  such  a  ship  must 
have,  in  some  way,  the  aid  of  the  gods.  The  prow  and  stern  of 
fishiLg-boats  are  much  alike,  and  are  neatly  nailed  together  with 
wooden  nails.  They  use  round  stems  of  trees  in  their  natural 
state,  for  masts.  The  sails  are  made  of  straw,  plaited  together 
with  cross-bars  of  bamboo.  The  sail  is  at  the  stern  of  the  boat. 
They  sail  well  within  three  points  of  the  wind,  and  the  fishermen 
are  very  skilful  in  managing  them.  In  their  working-boats,  they 
do  not  use  oars,  but  sculls,  worked  on  a  pivot  in  the  gunwale  or 
an  outrigger.  The  sculls  have  a  very  long  sweep,  and  are  worked 

196  COREA. 

by  two,  three,  and  even  ten  men.  For  narrow  rivers  this  method 
is  very  convenient,  and  many  boats  can  easily  pass  each  other,  or 
move  side  by  side,  taking  up  very  little  room.  For  fishing  among 
the  rocks,  or  for  landing  in  the  surf,  rafts  are  extensively  used  all 
along  the  coasts.  These  rafts  have  a  platform,  capable  of  holding 
eight  or  ten  persons.  The  boats  or  barges,  which  are  used  for 
pleasure  excursions  and  picnic  parties,  have  high  bows  and  orna- 
mental sterns,  carved  or  otherwise  decorated.  Over  the  centre  a 
canopy  stretched  on  four  poles,  tufted  with  horsehair,  shelters  the 
pleasure-seekers  from  the  sun  as  they  enjoy  the  river  scenery.  In 
the  cut  we  see  three  officials,  or  men  of  rank,  enjoying  themselves 
at  a  table,  on  which  may  be  tea,  ginseng  infusion,  or  rice  spirit, 

A  Pleasure-party  on  the  River. 

with  fruits  in  dishes.  They  sit  on  silken  cushions,  and  seem  to  be 
pledging  each  other  in  a  friendly  cup.  Perhaps  they  will  compose 
and  exchange  a  pedantic  poem  or  two  on  the  way.  In  the  long,  high 
bow  there  is  room  for  the  two  men  to  walk  the  deck,  while  with 
their  poles  they  propel  the  craft  gently  along  the  stream,  while  the 
steersman  handles  the  somewhat  unwieldy  rudder  The  common 
people  use  a  boat  made,  of  plain  unpainted  wood,  neatly  joined 
together,  without  nails  or  metal,  the  fastenings  being  of  wood,  the 
cushions  of  straw  matting  and  the  cordage  of  sea  grass. 

By  official  reckoning  Chung-chong  contains  244,080  houses, 
with  139,201  men  enrolled  for  military  service,  in  fifty-four 
districts.  It  contains  ten  walled  cities,  and  like  every  other  one 
of  the  eight  provinces  is  divided  into  two  departments,  Right  and 



Tliis  province,  the  most  southern  of  the  eight,  is  also  the 
warmest  and  most  fertile.  It  is  nearest  to  Shang-hae,  and  to  thie 
track  of  foreign  commerce.  Its  island-fringed  shores  have  been 
the  scene  of  many  shipwrecks,  among  which  were  the  French 
frigates,  whose  names  Glory  and  Victory,  were  better  than  their 
inglorious  end,  on  a  reef  near  Kokun  Island. 

Until  the  voyage  of  Captains  Maxwell  and  Basil  Hall,  in  the 
Alces:e  and  Lyra,  in  1816,  "the  Corean  archipelago"  was  abso- 
lutely unknown  in  Europe,  and  was  not  even  marked  on  Chinese 
charts.  In  the  map  of  the  empire,  prepared  by  the  Jesuits  at 
Pekirg  in  the  seventeenth  century,  the  main  land  was  made  to 
extend  out  over  a  space  now  known  to  be  covered  by  hundreds  of 
islands,  and  a  huge  elephant — the  conventional  sign  of  ignorance 
of  the  map-makers  of  that  day — occupied  the  space.  In  these 
virgin  waters,  Captain  Hall  sailed  over  imaginary  forests  and 
cities  and  straight  through  the  body  of  the  elephant,  and  for  the 
first  time  explored  an  archipelago  which  he  found  to  be  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  on  earth.  A  later  visitor,  and  a  naturalist,  states 
that  from  a  single  island  peak,  one  may  count  one  hundred  and 
thirtj-five  islets.  Stretching  far  away  to  the  north  and  to  the 
south,  were  groups  of  dark  blue  islets,  rising  mistily  from  the  sur- 
face )f  the  water.  "The  sea  was  covered  wifh  large  picturesque 
boats,  which,  crowded  with  natives  in  their  white  fluttering  robes, 
were  putting  off  from  the  adjacent  villages,  and  sculling  across 
the  pellucid  waters  to  visit  the  stranger  ship. 

On  these  islands,  as  Arthur  Adams  tells  us,  the  seals  sport,  the 
spoonbill,  quail,  curlew,  titmouse,  wagtail,  teal,  crane  and  innu- 
merable birds  thrive.  The  woody  peaks  are  rich  in  game,  and  the 
shores  are  happy  hunting-grounds  for  the  naturalist.  Sponges 
are  very  plentiful,  and  in  some  places  may  be  gathered  in  any 
quantity.  There  are  a  number  of  well-marked  species.  Some  are 
flat  a  id  split  into  numerous  ribbon-like  branches,  others  are  round 
and  f  nger-shaped,  some  cylindrical,  and  others  like  hollow  tubes. 
Though  some  have  dense  white  foliations,  hard  or  horny,  others 
are  Ic  ose  and  flexible,  and  await  only  the  hand  of  the  diver.  The 
Core*  .n  toilet  requisites  perhaps  do  not  include  these  useful  arti- 
cles, which  lie  waste  in  the  sea.  The  coral-beds  are  also  very 
splendid  in  their  living  tints  of  green,  blue,  violet,  and  yellow, 

198  COREA. 

and  appear,  as  you  look  down  upon  them  through  the  clear  trans, 
parent  water,  to  form  beautiful  flower-gardens  of  marine  plants. 
In  these  submarine  parterres,  amid  the  protean  forms  of  the 
branched  corals,  huge  madrepores,  brain-shaped,  flat,  or  headed 
like  gigantic  mushrooms,  are  interspersed  with  sponges  of  the 
deepest  red  and  huge  star-fishes  of  the  richest  blue.  Seals  sport 
and  play  unharmed  on  many  of  the  islands,  and  the  sea-beach  is 
at  times  blue  with  the  bodies  of  lively  crabs.  An  unfailing  store- 
house of  marine  food  is  found  in  this  archipelago. 

The  eight  provinces  take  their  names  from  their  two  chief  cities, 
as  Mr.  Carles  has  shown.  Whang  Hai  Do,  for  instance,  is  formed 
by  uniting  the  initial  syllables  of  the  largest  cities,  Whang-chiu  and 
Hai-chiu.  In  the  case  of  Chulla-Do,  the  Chon  and  Nai  in  Chon- 
chiu  and  Nai-chiu  (or  Chung-jiu  and  Na-jiu)  become,  by  euphony, 
Chulla  or  Cholla.  Hamel  tells  of  the  great  cayman  or  "alligator," 
as  inhabiting  this  region,  asserting  that  it  was  "  eighteen  or  twenty 
ells  long,"  with  "  sixty  joints  in  the  back,"  and  able  to  swallow  a 

The  soil  of  Chulla  is  rich  and  well  cultivated,  and  large  quan- 
tities of  rice  and  grain  are  shipped  to  the  capital.  The  wide  val- 
leys afford  juicy  pasture  for  the  herds  of  cattle  that  furnish  the  beef 
diet  which  the  Coreans  crave  more  than  the  Japanese.  The  visit- 
ing or  shipwrecked  foreign  visitors  on  the  coast  speak  in  terms  of 
highest  praise  of  fat  bullocks,  and  juicy  steaks  which  they  have 
eaten.  Considerable  quantities  of  hides,  bones,  horns,  leather, 
and  tallow  now  form  a  class  of  standard  exports  to  Japan,  whose 
people  now  wear  buttons  and  leather  shoes.  As  a  beef  market, 
Corea  exceeds  either  China  or  Japan — a  point  of  importance  to 
the  large  number  of  foreigners  living  at  the  ports,  who  require  a 
flesh  diet.  Troops  of  horses  graze  on  the  pasture  lands. 

Chulla  is  well  furnished  with  ports  and  harbors  for  the  junks 
that  ply  northward.  The  town  of  Mopo,  in  latitude  34°  40',  has 
been  looked  upon  by  the  Japanese  as- a  favorable  place  for  trade 
and  residence,  and  may  yet  be  opened  under  the  provisions  of 
the  treaty  of  1876.  This  region  does  not  lack  sites  of  great 
historic  interest.  The  castle  of  Nanon,  in  the  eastern  part,  was 

1  Mr.  Pierre  L.  Jouy,  of  the  Smithsonian  Institute,  who  in  1884  spent  six 
months  in  Corea  in  zoological  collecting  and  research,  says :  ' '  No  monkeys  or 
alligators  are  found  in  Corea.  I  am  at  a  loss  to  understand  how  the  alligator 
story  originated."  Was  the  alleged  animal  the  giant  salamander,  or  the 
Japanese  art  and  legend  refer  often  to  alligators. 



the  Bcene  of  a  famous  siege  and  battle  between  the  allied  Coreans 
and  Chinese  and  the  Japanese  besiegers,  during  the  second  inva- 

Map  of  Chul!a-d5. 

sion  in  1597.  The  investment  lasted  many  weeks,  and  over  five 
thousand  men  were  slaughtered.  It  was  in  this  province  also 
that  the  crew  of  the  Dutch  ship  Sparrowhawk  were  kept  prison- 

200  COREA. 

ers,  some  for  thirteen  years,  some  for  life,  of  whom  Hendrik 
Hamel  wrote  so  graphic  a  narrative.  For  two  centuries  his  little 
work  afforded  the  only  European  knowledge  of  Corea  accessible 
to  inquirers.  Among  other  employments,  the  Dutch  captives 
were  set  to  making  pottery,  and  this  province  has  many  villages 
devoted  to  the  fictile  art.  The  work  turned  out  consists,  in  the 
main,  of  those  huge  earthern  jars  for  holding  water  and  grains, 
common  to  Corean  households,  and  large  enough  to  hold  one  of 
the  forty  thieves  of  Arabian  Nights  story. 

Through  the  labors  of  the  French  missionaries,  Christianity 
has  penetrated  into  Chulla-do,  and -a  large  number  of  towns,  espe- 
cially in  the  north,  still  contain  believers  who  are  the  descendants 
or  relatives  of  men  and  women  who  have  exchanged  their  lives  for 
a  good  confession.  The  tragedy  and  romance  of  the  Christian 
martyrs,  of  this  and  other  provinces,  have  been  told  by.Dallet. 
Most  of  the  executions  have  taken  place  at  the  capital  city  of 
Chon-chiu.  Many  have  been  banished  to  Quelpart,  or  some  of 
the  many  islands  along  the  coast,  where  it  is  probable  many  yet 
live  and  pine. 

Three  large,  and  several  small  rivers  drain  the  valleys.  Two 
of  these  flow  into  the  Yellow  Sea  and  one  into  the  sea  of  Japan. 
The  main  highway  of  this  province  traverses  the  western  portion 
near  the  sea,  the  other  roads  being  of  inferior  importance.  Forti- 
fied cities  or  castle  towns  are  numerous  in  this  part  of  Corea,  for 
this  province  was  completely  overrun  by  the  Japanese  armies  in 
1592-1597,  and  its  soil  was  the  scene  of  many  battles.  By  official 
enumeration  there  are  290,550  houses,  and  206,140  males  enrolled 
for  service  in  war.  The  districts  number  fifty-six.  The  capital 
is  Chon-chiu,  which  was  once  considered  the  second  largest  city 
in  the  kingdom. 

If  Corea  is  "the  Italy  of  the  East,"  then  Quelpart  is  its 
Sicily.  It  lies  about  sixty  miles  south  of  the  main  land.  It  may 
be  said  to  be  an  oval,  rock-bound  island,  covered  with  innumer- 
able conical  mountains,  topped  in  many  instances  by  extinct  vol- 
canic craters,  and  "  all  bowing  down  before  one  vast  and  towering 
giant,  whose  foot  is  planted  in  the  centre  of  the  island,  and 
whose  head  is  lost  in  the  clouds."  This  peak,  called  Mount  Auck- 
land, or  Han-ra  san,  by  the  people,  is  about  6,500  feet  high.  On 
its  top  are  three  extinct  craters,  within  each  of  which  is  a  lake  of 
pure  water.  Corean  children  are  taught  to  believe  that  the  three 
first-created  men  of  the  world  still  dwell  on  these  lofty  heights. 


The  whole  surface  of  the  island,  including  plains,  valleys,  and 
mountain  flanks,  is  carefully  and  beautifully  cultivated.  The  fields 
are  neatly  divided  by  walls  of  stone.  It  contains  a  number  of 
towns  and  three  walled  cities,  but  there  are  no  good  harbors.  As 
Q  lelpart  has  long  been  used  as  a  place  for  the  banishment  of 
convicts,  the  islanders  are  rude  and  unpolished.  They  raise  excel- 
lent crops  of  grain  and  fruit  for  the  home  provinces.  The  finely- 
plaited  straw  hats,  which  form  the  staple  manufacture,  are  the 
best  in  this  land  of  big  hats,  in  which  the  amplitude  of  the  head- 
cc  verings  is  the  wonder  of  strangers.  Immense  droves  of  horses 
and  cattle  are  reared,  and  one  of  the  outlying  islands  is  called 
Bollock  Island.  This  island  has  been  known  from  ancient  times, 
when  it  formed  an  independent  kingdom,  known  as  Tam-na. 
About  100  A.D.,  it  is  recorded  that  the  inhabitants  sent  tribute  to 
one  of  the  states  on  the  main  land.  The  origin  of  the  high  c0n- 
tral  peak,  named  Mount  Auckland,  is  thus  given  by  the  islanders. 
"  Clouds  and  fogs  covered  the  sea,  and  the  earth  trembled  with  a 
noise  of  thunder  for  seven  days  and  seven  nights.  Finally  the 
waves  opened,  and  there  emerged  a  mountain  more  than  one 
thousand  feet  high,  and  forty  ri  in  circumference.  It  had  neither 
plants  nor  trees  upon  it,  and  clouds  of  smoke,  widely  spread  out, 
covered  its  summit,  which  appeared  to  be  composed  chiefly  of 
sulphur."  A  learned  Corean  was  sent  to  examine  it  in  detail.  He 
did  so,  and  on  his  return  to  the  main  land  published  an  account 
oi  his  voyage,  with  a  sketch  of  the  mountain  thus  born  out  of  the 
s<.>a.  It  is  noticeable  that  this  account  coincides  with  the  ideas  of 
navigators,  who  have  studied  the  mountain,  and  speculated  on  its 


Kiung-sang  do,  or  the  Province  of  Respectful  Congratulation, 
ie  nearest  to  Japan,  and  consists  chiefly  of  the  valleys  drained  by 
the  Nak-tong  Eiver  and  its  tributaries.  It  admirably  illustrates 
the  principle  of  the  division  of  the  country  on  the  lines  furnished 
by  the  river  basins.  One  of  the  warmest  and  richest  of  the  eight 
provinces,  it  is  also  the  most  populous,  and  the  seat  of  many  his- 
torical associations  with  Japan,  in  ancient,  mediaeval,  and  modern 
t  mes.  Between  the  court  of  Kion-chiu,  the  capital  of  Shinra,  and 
iliat  of  Kioto,  from  the  third  to  the  tenth  century,  the  relations 
cf  war  and  peace,  letters,  and  religion  were  continuous  and  fruit- 
f  iL  When  the  national  capital  was  fixed  at  Sunto,  and  later  at 


Seoul,  this  province  was  still  the  gateway  of  entrance  and  exit  to 
the  Japanese.  Many  a  time  have  they  landed  near  the  mouth  of 
the  Nak-tong  River,  which  opens  as  a  natural  pass  in  the  moun- 
tains which  wall  in  the  coast.  Rapidly  seizing  the  strategic  points, 
they  have  made  themselves  masters  of  the  country.  The  influence 
of  their  frequent  visitations  is  shown  in  the  language,  manners, 
and  local  customs  of  southern  Cho-sen.  The  dialect  of  Kiung- 
sang  differs  to  a  marked  degree  from  that  of  Ping-an,  and  much 
more  closely  resembles  that  of  modern  Japanese.  Kiung-sang 
seems  to  show  upon  its  surface  that  it  is  one  of  the  most  ancient 
seats  of  civilization  in  the  peninsula.  This  is  certainly  so  if  roads 
and  facilities  for  travelling  be  considered.  The  highways  and  foot- 
paths and  the1  relays  and  horses  kept  for  government  service, 
and  for  travellers,  are  more  numerous  than  in  any  other  province. 
It  also  contains  the  greatest  number  of  cities  having  organized 
municipal  governments,  and  is  the  most  densely  populated  of  the 
eight  provinces.  It  is  also  probable  that  in  its  natural  resources  it 
leads  all  the  others.  The  province  is  divided  into  seventy-one  dis- 
tricts, each  having  a  magistrate,  in  which  are  421,500  houses,  and 
310,440  men  capable  of  military  duty.  Two  officials  of  high  rank 
assist  the  governor  in  his  functions,  and  the  admirals  of  the 
"  Sam-nam,"  or  three  southern  provinces,  have  their  headquarters 
in  Kiung-sang.  This  title  and  office,  one  of  the  most  honorable 
in  the  military  service,  was  created  after  the  Japanese  war  of 
1592-1597,  in  honor  of  a  Corean  commander,  who  had  success- 
fully resisted  the  invaders  in  many  battles.  There  are  five  cities 
of  importance,  which  are  under  the  charge  of  governors.  Petty 
officials  are  also  appointed  for  every  island,  who  must  report  the 
arrival  or  visit  of  all  foreigners  at  once  to  their  superiors.  They 
were  always  in  most  favor  at  court  who  succeeded  in  prevail- 
ing upon  all  foreign  callers  to  leave  as  soon  as  possible.  Fusan 
has  been  held  by  the  Japanese  from  very  ancient  times.  Until 
1868  it  was  a  part  of  the  fief  of  the  daimio  of  Tsushima.  It  lies 
in  latitude  35°  6'  north,  and  longitude  129°  1'  east  from  Green- 
wich, and  is  distant  from  the  nearest  point  on  the  Japan  coast,  by 
a  straight  line,  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  It  was  opened 
to  the  Japanese  by  the  treaty  of  1876,  and  is  now  a  bustling  mart 
of  trade.  The  name  means,  not  "  Gold  Hill,"  but  Pot  or  Skillet 

The  approach  to  the  port  up  the  bay  is  through  very  fine  scen- 
ery, the  background  of  the  main  land  being  mountainous  and  the 


bay  studded  with  green  islands.  The  large  island  in  front  of  the 
settlement,  to  the  southward,  called  Tetsuye,  or  the  Isle  of  En- 
chanting View,  has  hills  eight  hundred  feet  high.  Hundreds  of 
horses  were  formerly  reared  here,  hence  it  is  often  called  Maki,  or 
island  of  green  pastures.  The  fortifications  of  Fusan,  on  the 
northern  side,  are  on  a  hill,  and  front  the  sea.  The  soil  around 
Fusan  is  of  a  dark  ruddy  color,  and  fine  fir  trees  are  numerous. 
The  fort  is  distant  about  a  league  from  the  settlement,  and  Tong- 
nai  city  and  castle,  in  which  the  Corean  governor  resides,  are 
about  two  leagues  farther.  Tai-ku,  the  capital,  lies  in  the  centre 
of  the  province.  Shang-chiu,  in  the  northwestern  part,  is  one  of 
the  fortified  cities  guarding  the  approach  to  the  capital  from  the 
southeast.  It  was  captured  by  Konishi  during  his  brilliant  march, 
in  eighteen  (Jays,  to  the  capital  in  1592.  In  recent  years,  much 
Christian  blood  has  been  shed  in  Shang-chiu,  though  the  city  which 
justly  claims  the  bad  eminence  in  slaughtering  Christians  is  Tai-ku, 
the  capital  of  the  province.  Uru-san,  a  few  miles  south,  is  a  site 
rich  in  classic  memories  to  all  Japanese,  for  here,  in  1597,  the  Chi- 
nese and  Corean  hosts  besieged  the  intrepid  Kato  and  the  brave, 
but  not  over-modest,  Ogawuchi  for  a  whole  year,  during  which  the 
garrison  were  reduced,  by  straits  of  famine,  to  eat  human  flesh. 
When  the  Chinese  retreated,  and  a  battle  was  fought  near  by,  be- 
tween them  and  the  relieving  forces,  ten  thousand  men  were  slain. 
Foreign  navigators  have  sprinkled  their  names  along  the  shore. 
C.ipe  Clonard  and  Unkoffsky  Bay  are  near  the  thirty-sixth  parallel. 
Ciio-san  harbor  was  named  by  Captain  Broughton,  who  on  asking 
the  name  of  the  place  in  1797,  received  the  reply  "Cho-san," 
which  is  the  name  of  the  kingdom  instead  of  the  harbor.  Other 
nj tines  of  limited  recognition  are  found  on  charts  made  in  Europe. 
Many  inhabited  islands  lie  off  the  coast,  some  of  which  are  used 
ae  places  of  exile  to  Christians  and  other  offenders  against  the  law. 
Christianity  in  this  province  seems  to  have  flourished  chiefly  in 
the  towns  along  the  southern  sea  border.  Nearly  the  whole  of  the 
coast  consists  of  the  slopes  of  the  two  mountain  ranges  which 
front  the  sea,  and  is  less  densely  inhabited  than  the  interior,  hav- 
ing few  or  no  rivers  or  important  harbors.  The  one  exception  is 
ai  the  mouth  of  the  Nak-tong  Kiver,  opposite  Tsushima.  This  is 
tl  e  gateway  into  the  province,  and  the  point  most  vulnerable  from 
J;>;pan.  The  river  after  draining  the  whole  of  Kiung-sang,  widens 
into  a  bay,  around  which  are  populous  cities  and  towns,  the  port 
ot  Fusan  and  the  two  great  roads  to  Seoul.  Tsushima  (the  Twin 



Islands)  lies  like  a  stepping-stone  between  Corea  and  Japan,  and 
was  formerly  claimed  by  the  Coreans,  who  call  it  Tu-ma.  Its  port 
of  Wani-ura  is  thirty  miles  distant  from  Fusan,  and  often  shelters 

Map  of  the  Province  nearest  Japan. 


the  becalmed  or  storm-stayed  junks  which,  with  fair  wind  and 
•v\eather,  can  make  the  run  between  the  two  countries  in  a  single 

From  a  strategic  military  point  of  view,  the  Twin  Islands  are 
invaluable  to  the  mikado's  empire,  guarding,  as  they  do,  the  sea 
of  Japan  like  a  sentinel.  The  Russians  who  now  own  the  long 
island  at  the  upper  end  of  the  sea,  attempted,  in  1859,  to  obtain 
a  footing  on  Tsushima.  They  built  barracks  and  planted  seed, 
with  every  indication  of  making  a  permanent  occupation.  The 
timely  appearance  on  the  scene  of  a  fleet  of  British  ships,  under 
Sir  James  Hope,  put  an  end  to  Eussian  designs  on  Tsushima. 

A  Japanese  writer  reports  that  the  Kiung-sang  people  are 
r  ither  more  simple  in  their  habits,  less  corrupted  in  their  man- 
ners, and  their  ancient  customs  are  more  faithfully  preserved  than 
in  some  of  the  other  provinces.  There  is  little  of  luxury  and  less 
of  expensive  folly,  so  that  the  small  estates  or  property  are  faith- 
f  illy  transmitted  from  father  to  son,  for  many  generations,  in  the 
s  ime  families.  Studious  habits  prevail,  and  literature  flourishes. 
Often  the  young  men,  after  toiling  during  the  day,  give  the  even- 
ing to  reading  and  conversation,  for  which  admirable  practice  the 
rative  language  has  a  special  word.  Here  ladies  of  rank  are  not 
so  closely  shut  up  in-doors  as  in  other  provinces,  but  often  walk 
abroad,  accompanied  by  their  servants,  without  fear  of  insult.  In 
this  province  also  Buddhism  has  the  largest  number  of  adherents. 
Kion-chiu,  the  old  capital  of  Shinra,  was  the  centre  of  the  scholas- 
tic and  missionary  influences  of  the  Buddha  doctrine  in  Corea, 
and,  though  burned  by  the  Japanese  in  1597,  its  influence  still 

The  people  are  strongly  attached  to  their  superstitions,  and 
difficult  to  change,  but  to  whatever  faith  they  are  once  converted 
they  are  steadfast  and  loyal.  The  numerous  nobles  who  dwell  in 
i  his  province,  belong  chiefly  to  the  Nam  In  party. 


Kang-wen  fronts  Japan  from  the  middle  of  the  eastern  coast, 
f,nd  lies  between  Ham-kiung  and  Kiung-sang.  Its  name  means 
1  liver  Meadow.  Within  its  area  are  found  the  sources  of  "  the 
liver"  of  the  realm.  Though  perhaps  the  most  mountainous  of  all 
the  provinces,  it  contains  several  fertile  plains,  which  are  watered 
by  streams  flowing  mainly  to  the  west,  forming  the  Han  Kiver, 

206  COREA. 

which  crosses  the  entire  peninsula,  and  empties  into  the  Yellow 
Sea.  The  main  mountain  chain  of  the  country,  called  here  the 
Makira,  runs  near  the  coast,  leaving  the  greater  area  of  the  prov- 
ince to  the  westward.  The  larger  part  of  the  population,  the 
most  important  high  roads,  and  the  capital  city  Wen-chiu,  are  in 
the  western  division,  which  contains  twenty-six  districts,  the  east- 
ern division  having  seventeen.  The  official  census  gives  the  num- 
ber of  houses  at  93,000,  and  of  men  capable  of  bearing  arms; 

Some  of  the  names  of  mountains  in  this  province  give  one  a 
general  idea  of  the  geographical  nomenclature  of  the  kingdom, 
reflecting,  as  it  does,  the  ideas  and  beliefs  of  the  people.  One 
peak  is  named  Yellow  Dragon,  another  the  Flying  Phrenix,  and 
another  the  Hidden  Dragon  (not  yet  risen  up  from  the  earth  on 
his  passage  to  the  clouds  or  to  heaven).  Hard  Metal,  Oxhead, 
Mountain  facing  the  Sun,  Cool  Valley,  Wild  Swamp,  White  Cloud, 
and  Peacock,  are  other  less  heathenish,  and  perhaps  less  poetical 
names.  One  range  is  said  to  have  twelve  hundred  peaks,  and  from 
another,  rivers  fall  down  like  snow  for  several  hundred  feet.  These 
"  snowy  rivers  "  are  cataracts.  Deer  are  very  plentiful,  and  the 
best  hartshorn  for  the  pharmacy  of  China  comes  from  these  parts. 
Out  in  the  sea,  about  a  degree  and  a  half  from  the  coast,  lies  an 
island,  called  by  the  Japanese  Matsu-shima,  or  Pine  Island,  by 
the  Coreans  U-lon-to,  and  by  Europeans,  Dagelet  This  island  was 
first  discovered  by  the  French  navigator,  La  Perouse,  in  June, 
1787.  In  honor  of  an  astronomer,  it  was  named  Dagelet  Island. 
"It  is  very  steep,  but  covered  with  fine  trees  from  the  sea-shore 
to  the  summit.  A  rampart  of  bare  rock,  nearly  as  perpendicular 
as  a  wall,  completely  surrounds  it,  except  seven  sandy  little  coves  at 
which  it  is  possible  to  land."  The  grand  central  peak  towers  four 
thousand  feet  into  the  clouds.  Firs,  sycamores,  and  jumper  trees 
abound.  Sea-bears  and  seals  live  in  the  water,  and  the  few  poor 
Coreans  who  inhabit  the  island  dry  the  flesh  of  the  seals  and 
large  quantities  of  petrels  and  haliotis,  or  sea-ears,  for  the  markets 
or  the  main  land.  The  island  is  occasionally  visited  by  Japanese 
junks  and  foreign  whaling  ships,  as  whales  are  plentiful  in  the  sur- 
rounding waters.  The  Japanese  obtained  the  timber  for  the  pub- 
lic and  other  buildings  at  their  new  settlement  at  Gensan  from 
this  island. 

The  Land  of  Morning  Calm  is,  by  all  accounts  of  travellers,  a 
land  of  beauty,  and  the  customs  and  literature  of  the  people 


prove  that  the  superb  and  inspiring  scenery  of  their  peninsula  is 
i'ully  appreciated  by  themselves.  Not  only  are  picnics  and  pleas- 
ire  gatherings,  within  the  groves,  common  to  the  humbler  classes, 
"but  the  wealthy  travel  great  distances  simply  to  enjoy  the  beauty 
of  marine  or  mountain  views.  Scholars  assemble  at  chosen  seats, 
having  fair  landscapes  before  them,  poets  seek  inspiration  under 
waterfalls,  and  the  bonzes,  understanding  the  awe-compelling  in- 
."luence  of  the  contemplation  of  nature's  grandeur,  plant  their 
monasteries  and  build  their  temples  on  lofty  mountain  heights. 
These  favorite  haunts  of  the  lovers  of  natural  beauty  are  as  well 
known  to  the  Coreans  as  Niagara  and  Yo  Semite  are  to  Ameri- 
cans, or  Chamouni  to  all  Europe.  The  places  in  which  the  glory 
of  the  Creator's  works  may  be  best  beheld  are  the  theme  of 
ardent  discussion  and  competing  praise  with  the  people  of  each 
province.  The  local  guide-books,  itineraries,  and  gazetteers,  de- 
scant upon  the  merits  of  the  scenery,  for  which  each  of  the  eight 
divisions  is  renowned.  In  the  River-meadow  province,  the  eight 
most  lovely  "  sceneries  "  are  all  located  along  the  coast.  Begin- 
ning at  the  south,  and  taking  them  in  order  toward  the  north, 
they  are  the  following  : 

1.  The   house  on  Uru-chih,  a  town  below  the  thirty-seventh 
parallel  of  latitude.     The  inn  is  called  "  The  House  of  the  Emer- 
ging Sun,"  because  here  the  sun  seems  to  rise  right  out  of  the 
waters  of  the  ocean.     In  front  of  the  coast  lies  an  island,  set  like 
i  gem  in  the  sea.     The  view  of  the  rising  sun,  the  tints  of  sky, 
river,  waves,  land,  and  mountains  form  a  vision  of  gorgeous  mag- 

2.  Hion-hai  (Tranquil  Sea).     Out  in  the  sea,  in  front  of  this 
village,  are  many  small  islands.     When  the  moon  rises,  they  seem 
>:o  be  floating  in  a  sea  of  molten  silver.     The  finest  effect  is  en- 
joyed just  before  the  orb  is  fully  above  the  horizon.     In  many  of 
'he  dwellings  of  the  men  of  rank  and  wealth,  there  is  a  special 
room  set  apart  for  the  enjoyment  of  the  scenery,  upon  which  the 
apartment  looks.     Especially  is  this  the  case,  with  the  houses  of 
public  entertainment.     At  Hion-hai,  one  of  the  inns  from  which 
the  best  view  may  be  obtained  is  called  the  "  House  Fronting  the 
Moon."     In  it  are  several  "  looking-rooms." 

3.  One  of  the  finest  effects  in  nature  is  the  combination  of 
fresh  fallen  snow  on  evergreens.     The  pure  white  on  the  deep 
green  is  peculiarly  pleasing  to  the  eye  of  the  Japanese,  who  use 
it  as  a  popular  element  in  their  decorative  art,  in  silver  and  bronze, 



in  embroidery,  painting,  and  lacquer.  The  Coreans  are  equally 
happy  in  gazing  upon  the  snow,  as  it  rests  on  the  deep  shadows 
of  the  pine,  or  the  delicate  hue  of  the  giant  grass  called  bamboo. 
Near  the  large  town  of  San-cho  is  a  tower  or  house,  built  within 
view  of  a  stream  of  water,  which  flows  in  winding  course  over  the 
rocks,  sparkling  beneath  the  foliage.  It  has  a  scene-viewing  room 
to  which  people  resort  to  enjoy  the  "  chikusetsu,"  or  snow  and 
bamboo  effect. 

Map  of  Kang-wen   Province. 

4  From  an  elevation  near  the  town  of  Kan-nun,  or  Bay  Hill, 
one  may  obtain  a  pretty  view  of  the  groves  and  shrubbery  grow- 
ing upon  the  rocks.  During  the  spring  showers,  when  the  rain 
falls  in  a  fine  mist,  and  the  fresh  vegetation  appears  in  a  new  rich 
robe  of  green,  the  sight  is  very  charming. 

5.  Beneath  the  mound  at  An-an  the   river  flows  tranquilly, 
tinted  by  the  setting  sun.     The  sunsets  at  this  place  are  of  ex- 
quisite beauty. 

6.  At  the  old  castle  town  of  Kan-nun,  there  is  a  room  named 


"  Tie  Chamber  between  the  Strong  Fortress  and  the  Tender  Ver- 
dure." Here  the  valley  is  steep,  and  in  the  bosom  of  the  stream 
of  water  lie  "  floating  islands" — so  called  because  they  seem  to 
swim  on  the  surface  of  the  water. 

7.  Near  Ko-sion,  or  High  Fortress,  is  "  Three  Days  Bay,"  to 
which  lovers  of  the  picturesque  resort  on  summer  mornings,  to 
see  the  sun  rise,  and  on  autumnal  evenings,  to  watch  the  moon- 
light effects.    The  fishers'  boats  gliding  to  and  fro  over  the  gleam- 
ing waters  delight  the  eye. 

8.  At  Tsu-sen  is  the  "  Kock-loving  Chamber.'*     Here,  among 
son  e  steep  rocks,  grow  trees  of  fantastic  form.     The  combination 
of  rock-scenery   and   foliage  make  the   charm   of  this  place,  to 
which  scholars,  artists,  and  travellers  resort.     In  spring  and  au- 
tun  n,  literary  parties  visit  the  chamber  dedicated  to  those  who 
lov(  the  rocks.     There,  abandoning  themselves  to  literary  revels, 
they  compose  poems,  hold  scholarly  reunions,  or  ramble  about  in 
search  of  health  or  pleasure. 

The  people  of  Kang-wen  are  industrious  and  intelligent,  with 
less  energy  of  body  than  the  southern  provincials,  but  like  their 
northern  countrymen,  they  have  the  reputation  of  being  bold, 
obstinate,  and  quarrelsome.  In  time  of  bad  harvests  or  lax  gov- 
ernment, "tramps"  form  bands  of  thirty  or  fifty,  and  roam  the 
country,  stealing  food  or  valuables  from  the  villages.  Local  thieves 
are  sufficiently  abundant.  During  the  heavy  snows  of  winter, 
people  travel  the  mountain  paths  on  snow-shoes,  and  in  excep- 
tional places,  cut  tunnels  under  the  snow  for  communication  from 
house  to  house.  Soldiers  test  their  strength  by  pulling  strong 
bows,  and  laborers  by  carrying  heavy  burdens  on  their  shoulders. 
Str  Dng  men  shoulder  six  hundred  pounds  of  copper,  or  two  bales 
of  white  rice  (260  pounds  each. )  The  women  of  this  province  are 
sai<  I  to  be  the  most  beautiful  in  Corea.  Even  from  ancient  times, 
lovoly  damsels  from  this  part  of  the  peninsula,  sent  to  the  harem 
of  the  Chinese  emperor,  were  greatly  admired.  Christianity  has 
ma  le  little  progress  in  Kang-wen,  only  a  few  towns  in  the  south- 
ern part  being  marked  with  a  cross  on  the  French  missionary  map. 
In  ~he  most  ancient  times  the  Chinhan  tribes  occupied  this  por- 
tion of  Corea.  From  the  Christian  era,  until  the  tenth  century, 
it  vas  alternately  held  by  Kokorai,  or  Korai,  and  by  Shinra. 





Ham-kiung  is  that  part  of  Corean  territory  which  touches  the 
boundary  of  Russia.  Only  a  few  years  ago  all  the  neighbors  along 
the  land  frontiers  of  Cho-sen  were  Chinese  subjects.  Now  she 
has  the  European  within  rifle-shot  of  her  shores.  Only  the  Tu- 
men  Eiver  separates  the  Muscovites  from  the  once  hermits  of  the 
peninsula.  The  southern  boundary  of  Russia  in  Asia,  which  had 
been  thrown  farther  south  after  every  European  war  with  China, 

Corean  frontier  facing  Manchun'a  and  Russia. 

touched  Corea  in  1858.  What  was  before  an  elastic  line,  has  in 
each  instance  become  the  Czar's  "  scientific  frontier."  By  the 
supplementary  treaty  of  Aigun,  March  28,  1858,  Count  Mouravieff 
"  rectified  "  the  far  eastern  line  of  the  Czar's  domain,  by  demand- 
ing and  obtaining  that  vast  and  fertile  territory  lying  south  of  the 
Amur  Eiver,  and  between  the  Qulf  of  Tartary  and  the  river  Usuri, 
having  a  breadth  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  This  remote, 
but  very  desirable,  slice  of  Asia,  is  rich  in  gold  and  silk,  coal  and 
cotton,  rice  and  tobacco.  With  energy  and  enterprise,  the  Rus- 
sian government  at  once  encouraged  emigration,  placed  steamers 
built  in  New  York  on  the  Usuri  River  and  Lake  Hanka,  laid  out 



212  COREA. 

the  ports  of  Vladivostok,  and  Possiet,  constructed  a  telegraph 
from  the  Baltic  Sea  to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  and  enforced  order 
among  the  semi-civilized  and  savage  tribes.  The  name  of  the 
new  Russian  territory  between  the  Amur  River  and  the  Sea  of 
Okhotsk,  is  Primorskaia,  with  Vladivostok  for  the  capital,  which 
is  finely  situated  on  Peter  the  Great  or  Victoria  Bay.  Immense 
fortifications  have  been  planned,  and  the  place  is  to  be  made  the 
Sebastopol  of  the  Czar's  Pacific  possessions.  This  gigantic  work 
was  begun  under  the  charge  of  the  late  Admiral  Popoff,  whose 
name  has  been  given  to  the  iron-turreted  war  vessels  of  which  he 
was  the  inventor,  and  to  a  mountain  in  Central  Corea.  Possiet  is 
within  twenty-five  miles  of  the  Corean  frontier.  It  is  connected 
with  Nagasaki  by  electric  cable.  In  the  event  of  a  war  between 
China  and  Russia,  or  even  of  Anglo-Russian  hostilities,  the  Czar 
would  most  probably  make  Corea  the  basis  of  operations  against 
China ;  for  Corea  is  to  China  as  Canada  is  to  the  United  States,  or, 
as  the  people  say,  "  the  lips  of  China's  teeth." 

Russia  needs  a  coast  line  in  the  Pacific  with  seaports  that  are 
not  frozen  up  in  winter,  and  her  ambition  is  to  be  a  naval  power. 
While  England  checks  her  designs  in  the  Mediterranean,  and  in 
Europe,  her  desire  is  great  and  her  need  is  greater  to  have  this 
defenceless  peninsula  on  her  eastern  borders.  The  Coreans  know 
too  well  that  the  possession  of  their  country  by  "^Russia  the  rav- 
enous "  is  considered  a  necessity  of  the  absorption  policy  of 
Peter  the  Great's  successors.  The  Tumen  River,  which  rises  at 
the  foot  of  the  Ever- White  Mountains  and  separates  Corea  from 
Russia,  is  about  two  hundred  miles  in  length.  It  drains  a  moun- 
tainous and  rainy  country.  Ordinarily  it  is  shallow  and  quiet ; 
but  in  spring,  or  after  heavy  rains,  and  swollen  by  a  great  number 
of  tributaries,  its  current  becomes  very  turbulent  and  powerful. 
In  winter  it  is  frozen  over  during  several  months,  and  hence  is 
easily  crossed.  Thousands  of  Coreans  fleeing  from  famine,  or 
from  the  oppression  of  government  officials,  Christians  perse- 
cuted for  their  faith,  criminals  seeking  to  escape  the  clutches  of 
the  law,  emigrants  desirous  of  bettering  their  condition,  have 
crossed  this  river  and  settled  in  Primorskaia,  until  they  now 
number,  in  all,  about  eight  thousand.  The  majority  of  them  are 
peasants  from  Ham-kiung,  and  know  little  of  the  southern  parts 
of  their  country.  There  is,  however,  an  "underground  railroad" 
by  which  persecuted  Christians  can  fly  for  refuge  to  Russian  pro- 
tection. Their  houses  are  built  of  stout  timbers,  wattled  with 


care,  plastered  with  mud,  and  surrounded  with  a  neat  fencing 
of  interlaced  boughs.  They  cover  their  houses  with  strips  of 
bamboo,  well  fastened  down  by  thatching.  The  chimney  is  de- 
tached from  the  house,  and  consists  of  a  hollow  tree.  Under  the 
warned  floor  is  the  usual  system  of  flues,  by  which  the  house  is 
kept  comfortable  in  winter,  and  every  atom  of  fuel  utilized.  Their 
food  is  millet,  corn,  venison,  and  beef.  They  pare  and  dry  melon- 
like  fruits,  cutting  them  up  in  strips  for  winter  use.  They  dress 
in  the  national  color,  white,  using  quilted  cotton  clothes.  They 
make  good  use  of  bullock-carts,  and  smoke  tobacco  habitually. 
The  national  product — thick  strong  paper — is  put  to  a  great  va- 
riety of  uses,  and  a  few  sheets  dressed  with  oil,  serve  as  windows. 

Some  of  the  Eussian  merchants  have  married  Corean  women, 
who  seem  to  make  good  wives.  Their  offspring  are  carefully  brought 
up  in  the  Christian  faith.  Some  of  these  Corean  children  have 
been  sent  to  the  American  Home  at  Yokohama,  where  the  ladies 
of  the  Woman's  Union  Missionary  Society  of  America  have  given 
the  in  an  education  in  English.  Through  the  Kussian  possessions, 
the  Corean  liberal,  Kin  Binshio,  made  his  escape.  From  this 
man  the  Japanese  officials  learned  so  much  of  the  present  state  of 
the  peninsula,  and  by  his  aid  those  in  the  War  Department  at 
Tokid  were  enabled  to  construct  and  publish  so  valuable  a  map 
of  Corea,  the  accuracy  of  which  astonishes  his  fellow-country- 
men. The  Russians  have  taken  the  pains  to  educate  the  people  in 
schools,  and,  judging  from  the  faces  and  neat  costumes,  as  seen  in 
photographs  taken  on  the  spot,  they  enjoy  being  taught.  The 
object  of  instruction  is  not  only  to  civilize  them  as  loyal  subjects 
of  the  Czar,  but  also  to  convert  them  to  the  Russian  form  of  Chris- 
tiaaity.  In  this  work  the  priests  and  schoolmasters  have  had  con- 
siderable success.  There  are  but  few  Coreans  north  of  the  Tumen 
wfco  cannot  read  and  write,  and  the  young  men  employed  as 
clerks  are  good  linguists.  A  number  of  them  are  fishermen,  liv- 
ing near  the  coast.  Most  of  the  converts  to  the  Greek  church 
ar(  gathered  at  Vladivostok. 

So  great  has  been  the  fear  and  jealousy  felt  by  Corea  toward 
Russia,  that  during  the  last  two  generations  the  land  along  the 
boundary  river  has  been  laid  desolate.  The  banks  were  picketed 
with  sentinels,  and  death  was  the  penalty  of  crossing  from  shore 
to  shore.  Many  interesting  relics  of  the  ancient  greatness  of 
Corea  still  abound  in  Manchuria  and  on  Russian  soil.  Travellers 
have  visited  these  ruins,  now  overgrown  with  large  forest  trees, 

214:  COREA. 

and  have  given  descriptions  and  measurements  of  them.  One  for- 
tification was  found  to  cover  six  acres,  with  walls  over  thirty  feet 
in  height,  protected  by  a  moat  and  two  outer  ditches,  with  gate- 
ways guarded  by  curtains.  In  the  ruins  were  elaborately  carved 
fragments  of  columns,  stone  idols  or  statues,  with  bits  of  armor 
and  weapons.  Some  of  these  now  silent  ruins  have  sustained 
famous  sieges,  and  once  blazed  with  watch-fires  and  echoed  to 
battle-shouts.  They  are  situated  on  spurs  or  ends  of  mountain 
chains,  commanding  plains  and  valleys,  testifying  to  the  knowl- 
edge of  strategic  skill  possessed  by  their  ancient  builders. 

The  Shan-yan  Alin,  range  on  range,  visible  from  the  Corean  side 
of  the  river,  are  between  eight  thousand  and  twelve  thousand  feet 
high,  and  are  snow-covered  during  most  of  the  year.  The  name 
means  Long-white,  or  Ever- White  Mountains,  the  Chinese  Shang- 
bai,  meaning  the  same  thing.  Two  of  the  peaks  are  named  after 
Chinese  emperors.  Paik-tu,  or  White  Head,  is  a  sacred  mountain 
famous  throughout  the  country,  and  is  the  theme  of  enthusiastic 
description  by  Chinese,  Japanese,  and  Corean  writers,  the  former 
comparing  it  to  a  vase  of  white  porcelain,  with  a  scolloped  rim. 
Its  flora  is  mostly  white,  and  its  fauna  are  reputed  to  be  white- 
haired,  never  injuring  or  injured  by  man.  It  is  the  holy  abode  of 
a  white-robed  goddess,  who  presides  over  the  mountain.  She  is 
represented  as  a  woman  holding  a  child  in  her  arms,  after  a  le- 
gendary character,  known  in  Corean  lore  and  Chinese  historical 
novels.  Formerly  a  temple  dedicated  to  her  spirit  was  built,  and 
for  a  long  time  was  presided  over  by  a  priestess.  The  Corean 
Buddhists  assign  to  this  mountain,  the  home  of  Manchusri,  one  of 
their  local  deities,  or  incarnations  of  Buddha.  Lying  in  the  main 
group  of  the  range,  twenty-five  hundred  feet  above  the  sea,  is  a 
vast  lake  surrounded  by  naked  rocks,  probably  an  extinct  crater. 
Large  portions  of  the  mountain  consist  of  white  limestone,  which, 
with  its  snow,  from  which  it  is  free  only  during  two  months  of  the 
year,  gives  it  its  name. 

Another  imposing  range  of  mountains  follows  the  contour  of 
the  coast,  and  thus  presents  that  lofty  and  magnificent  front  of 
forest-clad  highland  which  strikes  the  admiration  of  navigators. 
Other  conspicuous  peaks  are  named  by  the  natives,  Continuous 
Virtue,  The  Peak  of  the  Thousand  Buddhas,  Cloud-toucher,  Sword 
Mountain,  Lasting  Peace,  Heaven-reaching. 

Twenty-four  rivers  water  and  drain  this  mountainous  province. 
The  coast  of  Ham-kiung  down  to  the  fortieth  parallel  is  devoid 



of  any  important  harbors.  A  glance  at  a  foreign  chart  shows  that 
numerous  French,  Eussian,  and  English  navigators  have  visited  it, 
and  gained  precarious  renown  by  sprinkling  foreign  names  upon 
its  capes  and  headlands.  At  the  south,  Yung-hing,  or  Brough- 
ton's  Bay,  so  named  by  the  gallant  British  captain  in  1797,  is 
well  known  for  its  fine  harbors  and  its  high  tides.  It  contains 
a  small  archipelago,  while  the  country  around  it  is  the  most  popu- 
lous and  fertile  portion  of  the  province.  Port  Lazareff,  east  of 

Southern  part  of  Ham-kiung. 

Yon-fun,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Dungan  Kiver,  and  west  of 
Virginie  Bay,  is  well  known.  A  large  Japanese  army  under  Kato 
occupied  this  territory  during  the  year  1592. 

By  the  recent  treaty  with  Japan,  the  port  of  Gensan,  front- 
ing on  the  south  of  Broughton's  Bay,  was  opened  for  trade  and 
commerce,  from  May  1,  1880.  Gensan  lies  near  the  thirty-ninth 
parallel  of  latitude.  Near  the  shore  is  the  island  of  Chotoku,  and 
within  the  twenty-five  mile  circuit  aUowed  to  Japanese  merchants 

210  CORE  A. 

for  general  travel,  or  free  movement,  is  the  old  castle-town  of  To- 
kugen.  The  tomb  of  the  founder  of  the  reigning  dynasty  of  Cho- 
sen is  situated  near  the  bay  and  is  a  highly  venerated  spot.  As  the 
dragon  is  in  native  ideas  the  type  of  all  that  is  strong,  mighty, 
and  renowned,  the  place  is  named  the  "  Else  of  the  Dragon."  One 
of  the  high  roads  of  the  kingdom  traverses  the  strip  of  land  skirt- 
ing the  sea  from  north  to  south  throughout  the  province,  touch- 
ing the  water  at  certain  places.  The  greater  part  of  the  people 
dwelling  in  the  province  live  along  this  road.  The  interior,  being 
a  mass  of  mountains,  is  thinly  inhabited,  and  the  primeval  for- 
ests are  populated  chiefly  by  -tigers  and  other  beasts  of  prey. 

In  the  current  scouring  the  coast  of  Harn-kiung  swim  unnum- 
bered shoals  of  herring,  ribbon  fish,  and  other  species  inhabiting 
the  open  seas.  After  these  follow  in  close  pursuit  schools  of 
whales,  which  fatten  on  them  as  prey.  Thousands  of  natives  from 
the  interior  and  the  shore  villages  come  down  in  the  season  and 
fish.  They  often  stand  knee-deep  in  the  water,  looking  like  long 
rows  of  the  snowy  heron  of  a  rice-swamp,  in  their  white  clothes. 
They  use  a  kind  of  catamaran  or  raft  for  fishing  and  for  surf 
navigation,  which  is  very  serviceable.  They  sometimes  hunt  the 
whales  at  sea,  or  capture  them  in  shoal  water,  driving  them  in 
shore  till  stranded.  Sticking  in  the  bodies  of  these  huge  crea- 
tures have  been  found  darts  and  harpoons  of  European  whalers. 
This  chase  of  the  herring  by  the  whales  was  noticed,  even  in  the 
extreme  south  of  Corea,  by  Hamel,  and  by  shipwrekced  Dutch- 
men. Since  the  present  year,  Japanese  whale-hunters  have  been 
engaged  by  Coreans  to  improve  their  methods  of  catching  this 
huge  sea-mammal. 

The  capital  city  of  this  largest  of  the  provinces,  and  the 
residence  of  the  governor,  is  Ham-hung,  situated  near  the  fortieth 
parallel  of  north  latitude.  According  to  a  native  geography  this 
province  contains  103,200  houses,  which  gives  a  population  varying 
from  309,600  to  516,000  souls.  There  are  enrolled  and  capable  of 
military  service  (on  paper)  87,170  men.  For  administrative  pur- 
poses the  province  is  divided  into  divisions,  the  northern  and  the 
southern.  There  are  fifteen  walled  cities. 

Formerly,  and  until  the  Russians  occupied  the  Primorskaia 
territory,  an  annual  or  bi-annual  fair  was  held  at  the  Corean  city  of 
Kion-wen,  which  lies  close  to  the  border.  The  Manchiu  and  Chi- 
nese merchants  bartered  tea,  rice,  pipes,  gold,  and  furs  for  the 
Corean  ginseng,  hides,  and  household  implements.  Furs  of  a 


thousand  sorts,  cotton  stuff,  silks,  artificial  flowers,  and  choice 
woods,  changed  hands  rapidly,  the  traffic  lasting  but  two  or  three 
days,  and  sometimes  only  one  day,  from  noon  until  sunset.  Such 
was  the  bustle  and  confusion  that  these  fairs  often  terminated  in 
a  free  fight,  which  reminds  one  of  the  famous  Donnybrook.  One 
of  the  articles  most  profitable  to  the  Coreans  was  their  cast-off 
hair.  Immense  quantities  cut  from  the  heads  of  young  persons, 
a]  id  especially  by  those  about  to  be  married,  were  and  are  still 
sold  by  the  Chinese  to  lengthen  out  their  "pig-tails" — that  mark 
of  subjection  to  their  Manchiu  conquerors.  During  the  time  of 
trade  no  Chinese  or  Manchiu  was  allowed  to  enter  a  Corean  house, 
all  the  streets  and  doorways  being  guarded  by  soldiers,  who  at  the 
end  of  the  fair  drove  out  any  lingering  Chinese,  who,  if  not  soon 
across  the  border,  were  forced  to  go  at  the  point  of  the  spear. 
Any  foreigner  found  inside  the  border  at  other  seasons  might  be, 
and  often  was,  ruthlessly  murdered. 

The  nearest  town  beyond  the  frontier,  at  which  the  Chinese 
merchants  were  wont  to  assemble,  is  Hun-chun.1  This  loophole  of 
eatrance  into  Corea,  corresponded  to  Ai-chiu  at  the  Yalu  River  in 
the  west.  As  at  the  latter  place,  foreigners  and  Christian  natives 
have  attempted  to  penetrate  the  forbidden  country  at  Kion-wen, 
but  have  been  unsuccessful. 

An  outline  of  the  political  history  of  the  part  of  the  peninsula 
now  called  Ham-kiung  shows  that  many  masters  have  in  turn 
been  its  possessors.  When  the  old  kingdom  of  Cho-sen,  which 
comprehended  Liao  Tung  and  that  part  of  the  peninsula  between 
t '.lie  Ta-tong  and  the  Tumen  Rivers,  was  broken  up  toward  the  end 
of  the  first  century,  the  northern  half  of  what  is  now  Ham-kiung  was 
called  Oju  or  Woju,  the  southern  portion  forming  part  of  the  little 
state  of  Wei,  or  WTii.  These  were  both  conquered  by  Kokorai, 
vhich  held  dominion  until  the  seventh  century,  when  it  was 
crushed  by  the  Chinese  emperors  of  the  Han  dynasty,  and  the 
lind  fell  under  the  sway  of  Shinra,  whose  borders  extended  in 
the  ninth  and  tenth  centuries,  from  Eastern  Sea  to  the  Tumen 
River.  After  Shinra,  arose  Korai  and  Cho-sen,  the  founders  of 
\  oth  states  being  sprung  from  this  region  and  of  the  hardy  race 
i  ihabiting  it.  From  very  ancient  times,  the  boundaries  of  this 
I  Tovince,  being  almost  entirely  natural  and  consisting  of  mountain, 
i  iver,  and  sea,  have  remained  unchanged. 

1  Hun-chun  is  in  Chinese  Manchuria.  The  Russian  possessions  south  of  Vic- 
i  jria  Bay  extend  but  a  few  miles  from  the  mouth  of  the  Tumen. 



THE  title  of  majesty  in  Cho-sen  is  Hap-mun.  In  full  robes  of 
state  the  sovereign  wears  a  silken  garment,  the  gift  of  his  suzerain, 
the  Emperor  of  China.  It  is  embroidered  with  dragons,  the  em- 
blems of  regal  power.  His  throne  has  riong  or  dragons  sculptured 
around  it.  The  steps  leading  to  it  are  called  "  the  staircase  of 
jade."  The  cord  which  is  used  to  tie  criminals  has  a  dragon's 
head  at  the  ends,  to  signify  that  the  officers  act  in  obedience  to 
the  royal  command.  Chief  of  the  regalia  of  Corean  sovereignty 
is  the  Great  Seal,  the  possession  of  which  makes  the  holder  the 
actual  sovereign  of  Cho-sen.  This  seal,  of  which  we  shall  hear 
again,  seems  to  have  been  captured  by  the  French  in  1866.  In 
time  of  war  or  public  danger,  the  royal  library,  archives  and  re- 
galia are  sent  to  Kang-wa  Island  for  safety.  Ridel  wrote  in  1866  : 

"  In  another  case,  they  found  a  marble  tortoise,  sculptured  in 
perfect  art,  upon  the  pedestal  of  which  was  the  great  seal  of  state. 
This  royal  cartouche  was  to  the  simple  Corean  folk  neither  visible 
nor  approachable,  the  possession  of  which  has  sufficed  many  times 
to  transfer  the  royal  authority  and  to  terminate  revolutions.  It  was 
the  regalia  of  Corean  sovereignty.  The  one  which  he  saw  was  new 
and  appeared  never  to  have  been  used." 

The  sovereign,  in  speaking  of  himself,  uses  the  term  "Hap- 
mun,"  which  is  the  equivalent  of  the  imperial  "We"  of  Asiatic 
state  documents.  The  word  is  somewhat  similar  to  that  employed 
by,  or  for,  other  rulers — Pharaoh,  Sublime  Porte,  Mikado,  all  of 
which  mean  the  Grand,  Chief,  or  First,  Gate  of  all  the  gates  in  the 
country.  The  first  character  in  Hap-mun  is,  however,  different 
from  that  in  Mikado,  or  Honorable  Gate,  but  the  hap  is  honorific. 
No  other  person  in  the  land,  official  or  private,  is  allowed  to  use 
this  compound  word  in  speech  or  writing  as  applying  to  anyone 
except  the  king.  Even  in  transcribing  the  term  hap,  a  stroke 
must  be  omitted  out  of  respect  to  the  august  personage  to  whom 


alone  it  is  applied.  At  his  death,  three  cups  of  rice  are  set  out  in 
the  households  in  memoriam.  This  ceremony  must  not  be  imi- 
tated for  any  other  person.  So  also,  if  the  character  with  which 
the  name  of  the  ruling  emperor  of  China  is  written  be  found  in  that 
of  a  public  person,  a  gateway,  a  palace  or  edifice  in  Seoul,  the 
griphic  sign  must  be  temporarily  changed,  though  the  pronuncia- 
tion remains  the  same.  This  same  system  of  graduated  honors, 
of  which,  in  Corea,  the  king  is  the  culmination,  slopes  down  to 
the  common  people,  and  is  duly  protected  by  law. 

The  sovereign's  person  is  hedged  round  with  a  divinity  that  has 
an  antipathy  to  iron.  This  metal  must  ne^er  touch  his  august  body, 
and  rather  than  have  an  abscess  lanced,  the  king  Cheng-jong,  in 
1800,  died  from  the  effects  of  the  disease.  No  ordinary  mortal 
nrist  touch  him,  and  if  by  accident  this  is  done,  the  individual 
m  ist  ever  afterward  wear  a  red  silk  cord.  Notwithstanding  such 
regulated  veneration  for  the  Hap-mun's  person,  the  royal  harem 
numbers  several  hundred  inmates,  duly  presided  over  by  eunuchs. 
None  but  the  king  can  drink  out  of  a  cup  made  of  gold,  and  a 
heavy  penalty  is  visited  upon  all  who  presume  to  do  so.  When  out- 
side the  palace,  the  three  signs  of  the  sovereign's  power  of  life  and 
death  over  his  subjects,  are  the  axe,  sabre,  and  trident.  The  huge 
violet  fan  and  red  umbrella  are  likewise  borne  before  him.  The 
Cliinese  envoy  is  always  escorted  by  soldiers  bearing  the  three  em- 
blems, and  by  a  band  of  musicians.  When  the  Hap-mun,  or  king,  is 
in  his  minority,  the  queen,  who  is  regent,  sits  behind  a  curtain  in  the 
council  of  ministers,  and  takes  part  in  the  discussions.  When  she 
is  pregnant,  the  slaughter  of  beeves  is  prohibited  during  the  space 
of  three  months.  This  is  done  in  order  "to  honor  heaven  by 
abstinence,"  and  may  also  be  ordered  to  procure  rain.  Once  every 
year,  the  queen  entertains  at  her  palace  some  worthy  woman  in 
humble  life,  who  has  reached  the  advanced  age  of  eighty  years.  The 
king  likewise  shows  favor  to  old  men  in  the  lower  walks  of  life. 
Whenever  an  auspicious  event  happens,  or  good  fortune  befalls 
the  kingdom,  all  the  officials  over  seventy,  and  the  common  people 
o^  er  eighty  years  of  age,  are  feasted  at  the  expense  of  the  gov- 
ernment.  When  the  first  male  child  is  born  to  the  king,  criminals 
are  pardoned,  and  general  festivity  is  observed.  The  birthdays  of 
the  royal  pair  are  celebrated  every  year.  The  royal  princes  are 
supposed  to  have  nothing  whatever  to  do  with  politics,  and  any 
activity  in  matters  of  government  on  their  part  is  jealously  resented 
by  the  nobles,  who  form  the  political  parties. 

220  CORBA. 

The  Koyal  Castle  contains  over  three  acres  (15,202  square  yards), 
surrounded  by  a  wall  twenty  feet  high,  and  a  moat  the  width  of 
which  varies  from  fifty  feet  to  somewhat  less.  It  is  crossed  by 
stone  bridges  in  several  places.  This  castled  palace  is  called  the 
"Place  of  Government,"  and  is  divided  into  two  parts  called  the 
"East  and  West  "  palace.  The  East,  or  Lower  Palace,  is  the  resi- 
dence of  the  king  and  is  so  called  because  situated  on  level  land. 
The  Western  palace  is  used  for  the  reception  of  the  Chinese  am- 
bassadors. The  gates  of  the  outer  city  proper,  and  inner  city,  or 
palace,  are  named  in  high-sounding  phrase,  such  as  "  Beneficent 
Beception,"  " Exalted  Politeness,"  "Perfect  Change,"  "Entrance 
of  Virtue,"  and  the  throne-room  is  styled  "The  Hall  of  the  Throne 
of  the  Humane  Government."  The  Chinese  ambassador  of  1866 
spent  the  night  in  that  part  of  the  royal  residence  called  "  The 
Palace  Eeserved  for  the  South," — "the  south"  here  evidently  re- 
ferring to  the  imperial  favor,  or  the  good  graces,  of  the  emperor. 

A  marked  difference  concerning  "the  freedom  of  the  city"  is 
noticed  in  the  relative  treatment  of  the  two  embassies.  While  the 
entire  body  of  Coreans,  dignitaries,  servants,  merchants,  and  cart- 
men  enter  Peking,  and  all  circulate  freely  in  the  streets  among  the 
people,  the  Chinese  envoy  to  Seoul,  must  leave  his  suite  at  the 
frontier,  and  proceed  to  the  capital  with  but  a  few  servants,  and 
while  there  dwell  in  seclusion.  After  the  long  and  rough  journey 
through  Shin-king  and  Corea,  the  Chinese  envoy  in  1866  stayed  less 
than  three  days  in  Seoul,  and  most  of  the  time  in-doors.  The  Jap- 
anese who,  in  1646,  were  feasted  in  some  part  of  the  Eastern  palace, 
describe  it  as  being  handsomely  furnished,  with  the  walls  gilded 
and  painted  with  landscapes,  beasts,  birds,  and  flowers,  with  artis- 
tic effects  in  gold-dust  and  leaf.  The  royal  family  live  each  in 
separate  buildings,  those  above  the  ninth  degree  of  relationship 
reside  inside  the  enclosure,  all  others  live  beyond  the  wall  in  the 
city.  When  the  wife  of  the  king  has  a  child,  she  dwells  apart  in 
a  separate  building.  The  queen  is  selected  from  among  the  old 
and  most  loyal  families  of  the  nobility.  The  palace  pages,  who 
attend  the  king  day  and  night,  number  thirty.  There  are  also 
three  hundred  court  ladies,  and  eunuchs  are  among  the  regularly- 
appointed  officers  of  the  court.  The  royal  archives  and  library 
form  an  interesting  portion  of  the  royal  residence.  Part  of  this 
library,  when  removed  to  Kang-wa  in  1866,  was  captured  by  the 
French.  Bishop  Ridel  wrote  of  it,  "  The  library  is  very  rich, 
consisting  of  two  or  three  thousand  books  printed  in  Chinese, 


with  numerous  illustrations  upon  beautiful  paper,  all  well  labeled, 
for  the  most  part  in  many  volumes  hooped  together  with  copper 
bands,  the  covers  being  of  green  or  crimson  silk.  I  notice  among 
ot  ler  things  the  ancient  history  of  Corea  in  sixty  volumes.  What 
WLS  most  curious  of  all  was  a  book  formed  of  tablets  of  marble, 
with  characters  in  gold  encrusted  in  the  marble,  folding  upon  one 
another  like  the  leaves  of  a  screen,  upon  hinges  of  gilded  copper, 
and  each  tablet  protected  by  a  cushion  of  scarlet  silk,  the  whole 
pliced  in  a  handsome  casket  made  of  copper,  which  was  in  its 
turn  enclosed  in  a  box  of  wood  painted  red,  with  chased  orna- 
inonts  in  gilt  copper.  These  square  tablets  formed  a  volume  of  a 
dczen  pages.  They  contain,  as  some  say,  the  moral  laws  of  the 
country,  but  according  to  others,  whose  opinion  is  more  probable, 
the  honors  accorded  the  kings  of  Corea  by  the  Emperor  of  China. 
The  Coreans  set  great  store  by  it." 

A  custom,  similar  to  the  old  "curfew"  of  England  prevails  in 
the  capital.  A  bell  in  the  castle  is  struck  at  sunset,  after  which 
m,ile  citizens  are  not  allowed  to  go  out  of  their  houses  even  to 
visit  their  neighbors.  If  such  nocturnal  prowlers  are  caught,  they 
run  the  risk  of  receiving  the  bastinado  on  their  legs.  At  eight 
o'clock  another  three  strokes  are  given  on  the  bell.  At  the  hours 
of  midnight,  and  at  two  and  four  A.M.  the  drum  is  struck,  and  the 
brass  cymbals  sounded.  At  these  signals  the  watchmen  or  guards 
of  the  palace  are  relieved.  The  night-watch  consists  of  ten  reliefs 
of  eighteen  each.  Twenty  stand  guard  at  midnight,  thirty  at  two 
A.M.,  twenty  at  four  A.M.,  and  ten  at  six  A.M.  There  are  also  extra 
reliefs  with  their  officers  ready.  The  sentinels  change  after  giving 
the  pass- word.  The  military  garrison  of  the  city  is  divided  into 
five  portions,  or  four  in  addition  to  the  household  or  palace 
troops.  This  is  the  modern  form  of  the  old  division  of  Kokorai, 
into  five  tribes  or  clans. 

There  are  several  noted  holidays,  on  which  the  curfew  law  is 
suspended,  and  the  people  are  allowed  to  be  out  freely  at  night. 
Tjiese  are  the  first  and  the  last  day  of  the  year,  the  fourteenth  and 
filteenth  day  of  the  first  month,  and  the  fifteenth  of  August. 

Even  under  a  despotism  there  are  means  by  which  the  people 
w  n  and  enjoy  a  certain  measure  of  liberty.  The  monarch  hears 
tl  e  complaints  of  his  subjects.  Close  communication  between  the 
pjlace  and  populace  is  kept  up  by  means  of  the  pages  employed 
at  the  court,  or  through  officers,  who  are  sent  out  as  the  king's 
sj  ies  all  over  the  country.  An  E-sa,  or  commissioner,  who  is  to 

222  COREA. 

be  sent  to  a  distant  province  to  ascertain  the  popular  feeling,  or 
to  report  the  conduct  of  certain  officers,  is  also  called  "  The  Mes- 
senger on  the  Dark  Path."  He  receives  sealed  orders  from  the 
king,  which  he  must  not  open  till  beyond  the  city  walls.  Then, 
without  even  going  to  his  own  house,  he  must  set  out  for  his  des- 
tination, the  government  providing  his  expenses.  He  bears  the 
seal  of  his  commission,  a  silver  plate  having  the  figure  of  a  horse 
engraved  on  it.  In  some  cases  he  has  the  power  of  life  and  death 
in  his  hands.  Yet,  even  the  Messenger  of  the  Dark  Path  is  not 
free  from  espionage,  for  after  him  forthwith  follows  his  "double" 
— the  yashi  or  Night  Messenger,  who  reports  on  the  conduct  of 
the  royal  inspector  and  also  on  the  affairs  of  each  province 
through  which  he  passes.  The  whereabouts  of  these  emissaries 
are  rarely  discoverable  by  the  people,  as  they  travel  in  strict  dis- 
guise, and  unknown.  This  system  corresponds  almost  exactly  to 
that  of  the  ometsuke  (eye-appliers),  for  many  centuries  in  use  in 
Japan,  but  abolished  by  the  mikado's  government  at  the  revolu- 
tion of  1868.  It  was  by  means  of  these  E-sa  or  spies  that  many 
of  the  Corean  Christians  of  rank  were  marked  for  destruction. 
The  system,  though  abominable  in  free  countries,  is  yet  an  excel- 
lent medium  between  the  throne  and  the  subject,  and  serves  as  a 
wholesome  check  on  official  rapine  and  cruelty. 

The  king  rarely  leaves  the  palace  to  go  abroad  in  the  city  or 
country.  When  he  does,  it  is  a  great  occasion  which  is  previously 
announced  to  the  public.  The  roads  are  swept  clean  and  guarded 
to  prevent  traffic  or  passage  while  the  royal  cortege  is  moving. 
All  doors  must  ts  shut  and  the  owner  of  each  house  is  obliged  to 
kneel  before  his  threshold  with  a  broom  and  dust-pan  in  his  hand 
as  emblems  of  obeisance.  All  windows,  especially  the  upper  ones, 
must  be  sealed  with  slips  of  paper,  lest  some  one  should  look 
down  upon  his  majesty.  Those  who  think  they  have  received 
unjust  punishment  enjoy  the  right  of  appeal  to  the  sovereign. 
They  stand  by  the  roadside  tapping  a  small  flat  drum  of  hide 
stretched  on  a  hoop  like  a  battledore.  The  king  as  he  passes 
hears  the  prayer  or  receives  the  written  petition  held  in  a  split 
bamboo.  Often  he  investigates  the  grievance.  If  the  complaint 
is  groundless  the  petitioner  is  apt  to  lose  his  head.  The  proces- 
sion for  pleasure  or  a  journey,  as  it  leaves  the  palace,  is  one  of  the 
grandest  spectacles  the  natives  ever  witness.  His  body-guard  and 
train  amount  to  many  thousand  persons.  There  are  two  sedan 
chairs  made  exactly  alike,  and  in  which  of  them  the  king  is  riding 


-no  one  knows  except  the  highest  ministers.  They  must  never  be 
turned  round,  but  have  a  door  to  open  at  both  ends.  The  music 
ufc.ed  on  such  occasions  is — to  a  Corean  ear — of  a  quiet  kind,  and 
orders  are  given  along  the  line  by  signals  made  with  pennons.  In 
case  of  sudden  emergencies,  when  it  is  neccessary  to  convey  an 
Older  from  the  rear  to  the  front  or  far  forward  of  the  line,  the 
message  is  sent  by  means  of  an  arrow,  which,  with  the  writing  at- 
tached, is  shot  from  one  end  of  the  line  to  the  other. 

Five  caparisoned  horses  with  embroidered  saddles  precede  the 
royal  sedan.  The  great  dragon-flag,  which  is  about  fourteen  feet 
square,  mounted  in  a  socket  and  strapped  on  the  back  of  a  strong 
fresh  horse — with  four  guy  ropes  held  by  footmen,  like  banner- 
string  boys  in  a  parade — forms  the  most  conspicuous  object  in  the 
procession.  Succession  to  the  throne  is  at  the  pleasure  of  the 
sovereign,  who  may  nominate  his  legitimate  son,  or  any  one  of  his 
natural  male  offspring,  or  his  cousin,  or  uncle,  as  he  pleases.  A 
son  of  the  queen  takes  precedence  over  other  sons,  but  the  male 
cliild  of  a  concubine  becomes  king  when  the  queen  is  childless, 
wlu'ch,  in  Corean  eyes,  is  virtually  the  case  when  she  has  daugh- 
ters only.  Since  the  founding  of  the  present  dynasty  in  1392, 
there  have  been  twenty-nine  successors  to  the  founder,  among 
whom  we  find  nephews,  cousins,  or  younger  sons,  in  several 
instances.  Four  were  kun,  princes,  or  king's  son  only,  and  not 
successors  in  the  royal  line.  They  are  not  styled  wang,  or 
kings,  but  only  kun,  or  princes,  in  the  official  light.  One  of 
these  four  Icun,  degraded  from  the  throne,  was  banished  after 
eleven  years,  and  another  was  served  in  like  manner  after 
fourteen  years,  reign.  The  heir  to  the  throne  holds  the  rank 
of  wang  (Japanese  0),  king,  while  the  younger  sons  are  kun, 
princes.  From  1392  to  1882,  the  average  reign  of  the  twenty 
sovereigns  of  Corea  who  received  investiture  is  very  nearly  six- 
teen and  a  half  years. 



DURING  the  past  three  centuries  the  nobles  have  been  steadily 
gaining  political  power,  or  rather  we  might  say  have  been  regain- 
ing their  ancient  prestige  at  court.  They  have  compelled  the 
royal  princes  to  take  the  position  of  absolute  political  neutrality, 
and  the  policy  of  the  central  government  is  dictated  exclusively 
by  them.  Those  who  hold  no  office  are  often  the  most  powerful 
in  influence  with  their  own  party. 

The  origin  of  the  political  parties,  which  have  played  such  an 
influential  part  in  the  history  of  modern  Corea,  is  referred  to  about 
the  time  of  the  discovery  of  America.  During  the  reign  of  Sien- 
chong  (1469-1494),  the  eleventh  sovereign  of  the  house  of  Ni,  a 
dispute  broke  out  between  two  of  the  most  powerful  of  the  nobles. 
The  court  had  bestowed  upon  one  of  them  a  high  dignity,  to  which 
his  rival  laid  equal  claim.  As  usual  in  feudalism  everywhere,  the 
families,  relatives,  retainers,  and  even  servants,  of  either  leader 
took  part  in  the  quarrel.  The  king  prudently  kept  himself  neutral 
between  the  contending  factions,  which  soon  formed  themselves 
into  organized  parties  under  the  names  of  "  Eastern  "  and  "  West- 
ern." Later  on,  from  a  cause  equally  trivial  to  an  alien  eye,  two 
other  parties  formed  themselves  under  the  names  "  Southern  " 
and  "Northern."  Soon  the  Easterners  joined  themselves  to  the 
Southerners,  and  the  Northerners,  who  were  very  numerous,  split 
into  two  divisions,  called  the  Great  North  and  the  Little  North. 
In  one  of  those  unsuccessful  palace  intrigues,  called  conspiracies, 
the  Great  North  party  was  mixed  up  with  the  plot,  and  most  of  its 
members  were  condemned  to  death.  The  survivors  hastened  to 
range  themselves  under  the  banner  of  the  Little  North.  The 
next  reaction  which  arranged  the  parties  on  new  lines,  occurred 
during  the  reign  of  Suk-chong  (1676-1720),  and  well  illustrates 
that  fanaticism  of  pedantry  to  which  the  literary  classes  in  time 
of  peace  formerly  devoted  their  energies.  The  father  of  a  young 


noble  named  Yun,  who  belonged  to  the  Western  party,  having 
died,  the  young  man  composed  an  epitaph.  His  tutor,  an  influen- 
tial man  of  letters,  not  liking  the  production  of  his  pupil,  pro- 
posed another.  Unable  to  agree  upon  the  proper  text,  a  lively  con- 
troversy arose,  and  out  of  a  literary  acorn  sprang  up  a  mighty  oak 
of  politics.  The  Western  party  split  into  the  Sho-ron,  and  No-ron, 
in  which  were  found  the  adherents  of  the  pupil  and  master.  A 
froe  translation  of  the  correlative  terms  sho  and  no,  would  be 
"  Old  Corea  "  and  "Young  Corea,"  or  Conservative  and  Progres- 
sive, or  radical.  There  were  now  four  political  parties. 

The  Shi-seik,  or  "the  four  parties,"  are  still  in  existence,  and 
receive  illustration  better  from  French  than  from  British  politics. 
Every  noble  in  the  realm  is  attached  to  one  or  the  other  of  the 
four  parties,  though  "  trimmers  "  are  not  unknown.  These  Tuhil- 
poki,  or  "right  and  left  men,"  are  ever  on  the  alert  for  the  main 
chance,  and  on  the  turn  of  the  political  vane  promptly  desert  to 
tliD  winning  side. 

However  trivial  the  causes  which  led  to  their  formation,  as 
Western  eyes  see,  the  objects  kept  in  view  by  the  partisans  are 
much  the  same  as  those  of  parties  in  European  countries  and  in 
th-3  United  States.  Nominally  the  prime  purpose  of  each  faction 
is  to  advance  the  interests  of  the  country.  Actual  and  very  power- 
ful motives  have  reference  to  the  spoils  of  office.  Each  party  en- 
deavors to  gain  for  its  adherents  as  many  of  the  high  appointments 
and  dignities  as  possible.  Their  rallying-point  is  around  the  heirs 
apparent,  or  possible,  to  the  throne.  When  a  strong  and  healthy 
king  holds  the  reins  of  power,  political  activity  may  be  cool. 
When  the  sovereign  dies  and  the  succession  is  uncertain,  when  a 
queen  or  royal  concubine  is  to  be  chosen,  when  high  ministers  of 
stf.te  die  or  resign,  the  Corean  political  furnace  is  at  full  blast. 
When  king  Suk-chong  was  reigning  in  1720,  having  no  son  to 
succeed  him,  the  four  parties  coalesced  into  two,  the  Opposition 
an!  the  Court  or  royal  party.  The  former  supported  in  this  case 
one  who  proved  the  successful  candidate,  a  brother  of  the  king ; 
tho  latter  party  urged  the  claims  of  an  expected  heir  to  the  reign- 
ing king,  which,  however,  was  not  born,  as  the  king  died  childless. 
To  secure  the  throne  to  their  nominee,  the  brother  of  the  childless 
king,  the  opposition  secretly  despatched  a  courier  to  Peking  to 
obtain  the  imperial  investiture.  The  other  party  sen V assassins  to 
weylay  or  overtake  the  courier,  who  was  murdered  before  he  had 
cr<  >ssed  the  frontier. 

226  COREA. 

Yeng-chong,  the  nominee  of  the  Opposition,  mounted  the 
throne  after  the  death  of  his  brother,  and  reigned  from  1724  to 
1776.  He  was  an  able  ruler,  and  signalized  his  reign  by  abolish- 
ing many  of  the  legal  tortures  until  then  practised,  especially  the 
branding  of  criminals.  Yet  personally  he  was  cruel  and  unscrupu- 
lous. Public  rumor  credited  him  with  having  found  a  road  to 
power  by  means  of  a  double  crime.  By  the  use  of  various  drugs 
he  made  it  impossible  for  his  brother  to  have  an  heir,  after  which 
he  poisoned  him. 

Stung  by  these  reports,  he  began,  as  soon  as  he  was  made  sov- 
ereign, to  send  to  the  block  numbers  of  the  opposite  party  whom 
he  knew  to  be  his  enemies.  Some  years  after,  his  eldest  son  hav- 
ing died,  he  nominated  his  second  son,  Sato,  to  be  his  heir,  and 
associated  him  with  himself  in  the  government  of  the  kingdom. 
This  young  and  accomplished  prince  endeavored  to  make  his 
father  forget  his  bitter  hatred  against  the  Si-pai  party,  to  pro- 
claim general  amnesty,  and  to  follow  out  a  frank  policy  of  recon- 
ciliation. The  king,  irritated  by  his  son's  reproaches,  and  hounded 
on  by  his  partisans,  resolved  to  put  the  prince  out  of  the  way.  By 
the  royal  command  a  huge  chest  of  wood  was  made,  into  which 
the  young  prince  was  ordered  to  sleep,  while  living.  The  ponder- 
ous lid  was  put  on  during  one  of  his  slumbers  and  sealed  with 
the  royal  seal.  They  then  covered  this  sarcophagus  with  leaves 
and  boughs,  so  that  in  a  short  time  the  young  prince  was  smoth- 
ered. This  horrible  crime  served  only  to  exasperate  the  party  of 
the  prince,  and  they  demanded  that  his  name  should  be  enrolled 
in  the  list  of  sovereigns.  Their  opponents  refused,  and  this  ques- 
tion is  still  a  burning  one.  The  king's  defenders,  to  this  day  de- 
cline to  rehabilitate  the  character  of  the  smothered  prince.  The 
others  demand  that  historic  justice  be  done.  Though  other  ques- 
tions have  since  arisen,  of  more  immediate  moment,  this  particu- 
lar moot  point  makes  its  distinct  hue  in  the  opposing  colors  of 
Corean  politics.  This,  however,  does  not  take  on  the  features  of 
an  hereditary  feud,  for  oftentimes  in  the  same  family,  father  and 
son,  or  brothers  may  hold  varying  views  on  this  historical  dispute, 
nor  does  it  affect  marriage  between  holders  of  diverse  views.  The 
Corean  Borneo  and  Juliet  may  woo  and  wed  without  let  or  dan- 
ger. In  general,  it  may  be  said  that  the  Piek-pai  are  radical  and 
fiery,  the  Si-pai  are  conservative  and  conciliatory. 

Cheng-chong,  who  ruled  from  1776  to  1800,  a  wise,  moderate, 
and  prudent  prince,  and  a  friend  of  learning,  favored  the  men  of 


merit  among  the  Southern  Si-pai,  and  is  also  noted  for  having 
revised  the  code  of  laws. 

Among  the  more  radical  of  the  partisans,  the  object  in  view  is 
not  only  to  gain  for  their  adherents  the  public  offices,  but  also  to 
e  mite  their  rivals  hip  and  thigh,  and  prevent  their  getting  appoint- 
ments. Hence  the  continual  quarrels  and  the  plots,  which  often 
result  in  the  death  of  one  or  other  of  the  leaders.  Assassination 
und  murderous  attacks  are  among  the  means  employed,  while 
1  o  supplant  their  enemies  the  king  is  besought  to  order  them  to 
death  or  exile.  Concessions  are  made  by  the  dominant  party  to 
the  other  only  to  avoid  violent  outbreaks,  and  to  keep  the  peace. 
With  such  a  rich  soil  for  feuds,  it  is  not  wonderful  that  Corea  is 
oursed  with  elements  of  permanent  disturbance  like  those  in 
mediaeval  Scotland  or  Italy.  As  each  of  the  noble  families  have 
:nany  retainers,  and  as  the  feuds  are  hereditary,  the  passions  of 
human  nature  have  full  sway.  All  manner  of  envy  and  malice, 
with  all  uncharitableness  flourish,  as  in  a  thicket  of  interlacing 
ihorns.  The  Southern  and  No-ron  parties  have  always  been  the 
most  numerous,  powerful,  and  obstinate.  Between  them  mar- 
riages do  not  take  place,  and  the  noble  who  in  an  intrigue  with 
one  of  his  enemies  loses  caste,  his  honors,  or  his  life,  hands  down 
•:o  his  son  or  his  nearest  relative  his  demand  for  vengeance.  Often 
ihis  sacred  duty  is  associated  with  an  exterior  and  visible  pledge. 
He  may  give  to  his  son,  for  instance,  a  coat  which  he  is  never  to 
^ake  off  until  revenge  is  had.  The  kinsman,  thus  clad  with  ven- 
geance as  with  a  garment,  must  wear  it,  it  may  be  until  he  dies, 
ind  then  put  it  upon  his  child  with  the  same  vow.  It  is  not  rare 
to  see  noblemen  clad  in  rags  and  tatters  during  two  or  three  gen- 
erations. Night  and  day  these  clothes  call  aloud  to  the  wearer, 
reminding  him  of  the  debt  of  blood  which  he  must  pay  to  appease 
the  spirits  of  his  ancestors. 

In  Corea,  not  to  avenge  one's  father  is  to  be  disowned,  to 
prove  that  one  is  illegitimate  and  has  no  right  to  bear  the  family 
name,  it  is  to  violate,  in  its  fundamental  point,  the  national  reli- 
gion, which  is  the  worship  of  ancestors.  If  the  father  has  been 
put  to  death  under  the  forms  of  law,  it  behooves  that  his  enemy 
or  his  enemy's  son  should  die  the  same  death.  If  the  father  has 
been  exiled,  his  enemy's  exile  must  be  secured.  If  the  parent  has 
been  assassinated,  in  like  manner  must  his  enemy  fall.  In  these 
cases,  public  sentiment  applauds  the  avenger,  as  fulfilling  the  holy 
dictates  of  piety  and  religion. 

228  COREA. 

The  pretext  of  accusation  most  often  employed  by  the  rival 
factions  is  that  of  conspiracy  against  the  life  of  the  king.  Peti- 
tions and  false  evidence  are  multiplied  and  bribery  of  the  court 
ministers  is  attempted.  If,  as  is  often  the  case,  the  first  petition- 
ers are  thrown  in  jail,  beaten,  or  condemned  to  mulct  or  exile, 
the  partisans  assess  the  fine  among  themselves  and  pay  it,  or 
manage  by  new  methods,  by  the  favor  or  venality  of  the  court 
ministers,  or  the  weakness  of  the  king,  at  last  to  compass  their  ends, 
when  those  of  the  vanquished  party  are  ousted  from  office,  while 
the  victors  use  and  abuse  their  positions  to  enrich  themselves  and 
ruin  their  enemies,  until  they  in  their  turn  are  supplanted. 

It  is  no  wonder  that  a  Corean  liberal  visiting  in  Tokio,  in 
1882,  declared  to  a  Japanese  officer  his  conviction  that  Corea's 
dfficulties  in  the  way  of  national  progress  were  greater  than  those 
of  which  Japan  had  rid  herself,  mighty  as  these  had  been.  By 
the  revolutions  of  1868,  and  later,  the  ripened  fruits  of  a  century 
of  agitation  and  the  presence  of  foreigners,  Japan  had  purged 
from  her  body  politic  feudalism  and  caste,  emancipating  herself 
at  once  from  the  thrall  of  the  priest  and  the  soldier  ;  but  Corea, 
with  her  feudalism,  her  court  intrigues,  her  Confucian  bigotry, 
and  the  effete  products  of  ages  of  seclusion  and  superstition  has 
even  a  more  hopeless  task  to  attempt.  The  bearing  of  these 
phases  of  home  politics  will  be  further  displayed  when  the  new 
disturbing  force  of  Christianity  enters  to  furnish  a  lover  to  am- 
bition and  revenge,  as  well  as  to  affection  and  philanthropy. 

A  native  caricature,  which  was  published  about  a  generation 
ago,  gives  even  a  foreigner  a  fair  idea  of  the  relative  position  of 
each  party  at  that  epoch.  At  a  table  gorgeously  furnished,  a  No- 
ron  is  seated  at  his  ease,  disposing  of  the  bountiful  fare.  A  Sho- 
ron  seated  beside  him,  yet  in  the  rear,  graciously  performs  the 
office  of  servant,  receiving  part  of  the  food  as  reward  for  his  at- 
tendance. The  Little  North,  seeing  that  the  viands  are  not  for 
him,  is  also  seated,  but  with  a  more  sedate  and  serious  visage. 
Last  of  all  the  Southern,  covered  with  rags,  keeps  far  in  the  rear, 
behind  the  No-ron,  who  does  not  notice  him,  while  he,  in  vexation, 
grinds  his  teeth  and  shakes  his  fist  like  a  man  who  means  to  take 
burning  vengeance.  Such  was  the  political  situation  before  1850, 
as  some  native  wit  pictured  it  for  the  amusement  of  the  Seoulians. 

It  requires  a  ruler  of  real  ability  to  be  equal  to  the  pressure 
brought  upon  him  by  the  diverse  and  hostile  political  parties. 
Nominally  sovereign  of  the  country,  he  is  held  in  check  by  pow- 


erful  nobles  intrenched  in  privileges  hoary  with  age,  and  backed 
by  all  the  reactionary  influences  of  feudalism.  The  nobles  are  the 
powerful  middle  term  in  the  problem  of  Corean  politics,  who  con- 
trol both  king  and  commons.  The  nobles  have  the  preponderance 
of  the  government  patronage,  and  fill  the  official  positions  with 
their  liegemen  to  an  extent  far  beyond  what  the  theory  of  the 
law,  as  illustrated  in  the  literary  examinations,  allows  them.  A 
native  caricature  thus  depicts  the  situation.  Cho-sen  is  repre- 
sented as  a  human  being,  of  whom  the  king  is  the  head,  the 
nobles  the  body,  and  the  people  the  legs  and  feet.  The  breast 
and  belly  are  full,  while  both  head  and  lower  limbs  are  gaunt  and 
shrunken.  The  nobles  not  only  drain  the  life-blood  of  the  peo- 
ple by  their  rapacity,  but  they  curtail  the  royal  prerogative.  The 
nation  is  suffering  from  a  congestion,  verging  upon  a  dropsical 
condition  of  over-officialism. 

The  disease  of  Corea's  near  neighbor,  old  Japan,  was  like- 
wise a  surplus  of  government  and  an  excess  of  official  patronage, 
but  the  body  politic  was  purged  by  revolution.  The  obstructions 
between  the  throne  and  the  people  were  cleared  away  by  the  re- 
moval of  the  sho-gunate  and  the  feudal  system.  Before  the 
advent  of  foreigners,  national  unity  was  not  the  absolute  necessity 
which  it  became  the  instant  that  aliens  fixed  their  dwelling  on  the 
soil.  Now,  the  empire  of  the  mikado  rejoices  in  true  political 
unity,  and  has  subjects  in  a  strong" and  not  over-meddlesome  gov- 
ernment. The  people  are  being  educated  in  the  rudiments  of 
mutual  obligations — their  rights  as  well  as  their  duties.  The 
mikado  himself  took  the  oath  of  1868,  and  his  own  hand  shaped 
the  august  decree  of  1881,  which  will  keep  his  throne  unshaken, 
not  because  it  was  won  by  the  bows  and  arrows  of  his  divine  an- 
cestors, but  because  it  will  rest  broad-based  upon  the  peoples' 
will.  So  in  Cho-sen  the  work  of  the  future  for  intelligent  patriots 
is  the  closer  union  of  king  and  people,  the  curtailment  of  the 
power  of  the  nobles,  and  the  excision  cf  feudalism.  Already,  to  ac- 
complish this  end,  there  are  Coreans  who  are  ready  to  die.  During 
the  last  decade,  the  pressure  from  Japan,  the  jealousy  of  China, 
the  danger  from  Russia,  the  necessity,  at  first  shrunk  from  and 
then  yielded  to,  of  making  treaties  with  foreign  nations,  has  altered 
the  motives  and  objects  of  Corean  politics.  Old  questions  have 
fallen  out  of  sight,  and  two  great  parties,  Progressionists  and  Ob- 
structionists, or  Radical  and  Conservative,  have  formed  for  the  solu- 
tion of  the  problems  thrust  upon  them  by  the  nineteenth  century. 



NEXT  in  authority  to  the  king  are  the  three  chong  or  high  min- 
isters. The  chief  of  these  (Chen-kun)  is  the  greatest  dignitary  in 
the  kingdom,  and  in  time  of  the  minority,  inability,  or  imbecility 
of  the  king,  wields  royal  authority  in  fact  if  not  in  name.  Another 
term  applied  to  him  when  the  king  is  unable  to  govern,  is  "Foun- 
dation-stone Minister,"  upon  whom  the  king  leans  and  the  state 
rests  as  a  house  upon  its  foundation-stone.  The  title  of  Tai-wen- 
kun,  which  suggests  that  of  the  "Tycoon"  of  Japan,  seems  to 
have  been  a  special  one  intended  for  the  emergency.  It  was  given 
to  the  Eegent  who  is  the  father  of  the  present  King,  and  who 
ruled  with  nearly  absolute  power  from  1863  to  1874,  when  the 
king  reached  his  majority.  In  the  troubles  in  Seoul  in  July,  1882, 
his  title,  written  in  Japanese  as  Tai-in  kun,  became  familiar  to 
western  newspapers. 

After  the  king,  and  the  three  prime  ministers,  come  the  six 
ministries  or  boards  of  government,  the  heads  of  which  rank 
next  to  the  three  chong  or  ministers  forming  the  Supreme  Council. 
In  the  six  departments,  the  heads  are  called  pan-cho,  and  these  are 
assisted  by  two  other  associates,  the  cham-pan,  or  substitutes,  and 
the  cham-e,  or  counsellor.  These  four  grades  and  twenty-one 
dignitaries  constitute  the  royal  council  of  dai-jin  (great  ministers), 
though  the  actual  authority  is  in  the  supreme  council  of  the  three 
chong.  The  six  boards,  or  departments  of  the  government,  are : 
1,  Office  and  Public  Employ ;  2,  Finance  ;  3,  Ceremonies ;  4,  War  ; 
5,  Justice ;  6,  Public  Works.  The  heads  of  these  tribunals  make 
a  daily  report  of  all  affairs  within  their  province,  but  refer  all 
matters  of  importance  to  the  Supreme  Council.  There  are  also 
three  chamberlains,  each  having  his  assistants,  who  record  every 
day  the  acts  and  words  of  the  king.  A  daily  government  gazette, 
called  the  Cho-po,  is  issued  for  information  on  official  matters. 
The  general  cast  and  method  of  procedure  in  the  court  and  gov- 
ernment is  copied  after  the  great  model  in  Peking. 


Each  of  the  eight  provinces  is  under  the  direction  of  a  Icam-sa, 
or  governor.  The  cities  are  divided  into  six  classes  (yin,  mu,fu, 
ki,  ling,  and  hilu),  and  are  governed  by  officers  of  corresponding 
rank.  The  towns  are  given  in  charge  of  the  petty  magistrates, 
there  being  twelve  ranks  or  dignities  in  the  official  class.  In 
theory  any  male  Corean  able  to  pass  the  government  examinations 
is  eligible  to  office,  but  the  greater  number  of  the  best  positions 
are  secured  by  nobles  and  their  friends. 

From  the  sovereign  to  the  beggar,  the  gate,  both  figura- 
tr'ely  and  actually,  is  very  prominent  in  the  public  economy  and 
in  family  relationships.  A  great  deal  of  etiquette  is  visible  in  the 
gs.tes.  At  the  entrance  to  the  royal  palace  are,  or  were  formerly, 
two  huge  effigies,  in  wood,  of  horses,  painted  red.  Only  high 
ofacials  can  pass  these  mute  guardians.  All  persons  riding  past 
the  palace  must  dismount  and  walk.  To  the  houses  of  men  of 
rank  there  are  usually  two,  sometimes  three,  gates.  The  magis- 
trate himself  enters  by  the  largest,  his  parents  and  nearer  friends 
by  the  eastern,  and  servants  by  the  west  or  smallest.  "When  a 
visitor  of  equal  grade  calls  upon  an  officer  or  noble,  the  host  must 
cc  me  all  the  way  to  the  great  or  outer  gate  to  receive  him,  and  do 
likewise  on  dismissing  him.  If  he  be  of  one  degree  lower  rank, 
tbe  host  comes  only  to  the  outside  of  the  middle  gate.  If  of  third 
or  fourth  rank,  the  caller  is  accompanied  only  to  the  space  inside 
the  middle  gate.  The  man  of  fifth  and  sixth  rank  finds  that  eti- 
quette has  so  tapered  off  that  the  lord  of  the  mansion  walks  only 
tc  the  piazza.  In  front  of  a  magistrate's  office,  at  the  gateway,  are 
ranged  the  symbols  of  authority,  such  as  spears  and  tridents. 
Tlie  gates  are  daily  opened  amid  the  loud  cries  of  the  underlings, 
and  their  opening  and  closing  with  a  vocal  or  instrumental 
blast  is  a  national  custom,  illustrated  as  well  at  the  city  as  at  the 
olfice.  The  porters  who  close  them  at  sunset  and  open  them  at 
d;iwn  execute  a  salvo  on  their  trumpets,  often  lasting  a  quarter 
oi  an  hour.  This  acoustic  devastation,  so  distressing  to  foreign 
etxs,  is  considered  good  music  to  the  native  tympanum. 

In  sitting,  the  same  iron  tongue  upon  the  buckle  of  custom 
holds  each  man  to  his  right  hole  in  the  social  strap.  People  of 
equal  rank  sit  so  that  the  guest  faces  to  the  east  and  the  host  to 
tl.e  west.  In  ordinary  easy  style,  the  visitor's  nose  is  to  the  south, 
as  he  sits  eastward  of  his  host.  A  commoner  faces  north.  In 
social  entertainments,  after  the  yup,  or  bows  with  the  head 
ai  id  hands  bent  together,  have  been  made,  wine  is  sipped  or 

232  COREA. 

drunk  three  or  five  times,  and  then  follows  what  the  Coreans  call 

The  sumptuary  laws  of  the  kingdom  are  peculiar,  at  many  points 
amusing  to  occidentals.  To  commit  pern-ram  is  to  violate  these 
curious  regulations.  What  may  be  worn,  or  sat  upon,  is  solemnly 
dictated  by  law.  Nobles  sit  on  the  kan-kio,  or  better  kind  of 
chairs.  Below  the  third  rank,  officers  rest  upon  a  bench  made  of 
ropes.  Chairs,  however,  are  not  common  articles  of  use,  nor  in- 
tended to  be  such.  At  entertainments  for  the  aged,  in  time  of 
rich  harvests,  local  feasts,  archery  tournaments,  and  on  public  occa- 
sions, these  luxuries  are  oftener  used.  In  short,  the  chair  seems 
to  be  an  article  of  ceremony,  rather  than  a  constant  means  of  use 
or  comfort. 

Only  men  above  the  third  rank  are  allowed  to  put  on  silk. 
Petty  officials  must  wear  cotton.  Merchants  and  farmers  may  not 
imitate  official  robes,  but  don  tighter  or  more  economical  coats 
and  trowsers.  A  common  term  for  officials  is  "  blue  clouds,"  in 
reference  to  their  blue-tinted  garments.  To  their  assistants,  the 
people  apply  the  nickname,  not  sarcastic,  but  honorable,  of  "  crooked 
backs,"  because  they  always  bend  low  in  talking  to  their  employers. 

The  magistrates  lay  great  stress  on  the  trifles  of  etiquette,  and 
keep  up  an  immense  amount  of  fuss  and  pomp  to  sustain  their 
dignity,  in  order  to  awe  the  common  folks.  Whenever  they  move 
abroad,  their  servants  cry  out  "  chii-wa,"  "  chii-wa,"  "  get  down 
off  your  horse,"  "get  down  off  your  horse,"  to  riders  in  sight. 
The  H-san,  or  large  banner  or  standard  in  the  form  of  an  um- 
brella, is  borne  at  the  head  of  the  line.  To  attempt  to  cross  one 
of  their  processions  is  to  be  seized  and  punished,  and  anyone  re- 
fusing to  dismount,  or  who  is  slow  about  slipping  off  his  horse,  is 
at  once  arrested,  to  be  beaten  or  mulcted.  When  permission  is 
given  to  kill  an  ox,  the  head,  hide,  and  feet  usually  become  the 
perquisites  of  the  magistrate  or  his  minions.  The  exuberant  vocab- 
ulary in  Corean,  for  the  various  taxes,  fines,  mulcts,  and  squeezes 
of  the  understrappers  of  the  magistrate,  in  gross  and  in  detail, 
chief  and  supplementary,  testify  to  the  rigors  and  expenses  of 
being  governed  in  Cho-sen. 

Overreaching  magistrates,  through  whose  injustice  the  people 
are  goaded  into  rebellion,  are  sometimes  punished.  It  seems  that 
one  of  the  penalties  in  ancient  times  was  that  the  culpable  official 
should  be  boiled  in  oil.  Now,  however,  the  condemned  man  is 
exiled,  and  only  rarely  put  to  death,  while  a  commutation  of  justice 


— equivalent  to  being  burned  in  effigy — is  made  by  a  pretended 
boiling  in  oil.  Good  and  upright  magistrates  are  often  remem- 
bered by  mok-pi,  or  inscribed  columns  of  wood,  erected  on  the 
public  road  by  the  grateful  people.  In  many  instances,  this  testi- 
monial takes  the  form  of  sculptured  stone.  A  number  of, the  pub- 
lic highways  are  thus  adorned.  These,  with  the  tol-pi,  or  monu- 
mental bourne,  which  marks  distances  or  points  out  the  paths  to 
pJaces  of  resort,  are  interesting  features  of  travel  in  the  peninusla, 
and  more  pleasant  to  the  horseman  than  the  posts  near  temples 
and  offices  on  which  one  may  read  "Dismount."  At  the  funeral 
oi  great  dignitaries  of  the  realm,  a  life-sized  figure  of  a  horse, 
made  of  bamboo,  dragged  before  the  coffin,  is  burned  along  with 
tl.e  clothes  of  the  deceased,  and  the  ashes  laid  beside  his  remains. 

As  the  magistrates  are  literary  men,  their  official  residences 
oi  ten  receive  poetic  or  suggestive  names,  which,  in  most  cases,  re- 
flect the  natural  scenery  surrounding  them.  "Little  Flowery 
House,"  "Eising  Cloud,"  "Sun-greeting,"  "Sheet  of  Resplen- 
dent Water,"  "Water- that- slides-as-straight-as-a- sword  Dwelling," 
"  G-ate  of  Lapis-lazuli,"  "  Mansion  near  the  Whirlpool,"  are  some 
oi  these  names,  while,  into  the  composition  of  others,  the  Morn- 
ing-star, the  Heaven-touching,  the  Cave-spirit,  and  the  Changing- 
cloud  Mountain,  or  the  Falling-snow  Cataract  may  enter.  Passion- 
ately fond  of  nature,  the  Corean  gentleman  will  erect  a  tablet  in 
praise  of  the  scenery  that  charms  his  eye.  One  such  reads,  "  The 
beauty  of  its  rivers,  and  of  its  mountains,  make  this  district  the 
first  in  the  country." 

If,  as  the  French  say,  "Paris  is  France,"  then  Seoul  is  Corea. 
An  apparently  disproportionate  interest  centres  in  the  capital,  if 
one  may  judge  from  the  vast  and  varied  vocabulary  relating  to 
Seoul,  its  people  and  things,  which  differentiate  all  else  outside  its 
wall.  Three  thousand  official  dignitaries  are  said  to  reside  in  the 
capital,  and  only  eight  hundred  in  all  the  other  cities  and  prov- 
ir  ces.  Seoul  is  "  the  city,"  and  all  the  rest  of  the  peninsula  is  "  the 
country."  A  provincial  having  cultivated  manners  is  called  "a 
man  of  the  capital."  "  Capital  and  province  "  means  the  realm. 

The  rule  of  the  local  authorities  is  very  minute  in  all  its  rami- 
fieations.  The  system  of  making  every  five  houses  a  social  unit 
is  universal.  When  a  crime  is  committed,  it  is  easy  to  locate  the 
group  in  which  the  offender  dwells,  and  responsibility  is  fixed  at 
once.  Every  subject  of  the  sovereign  except  nobles  of  rank,  must 
possess  a  passport  or  ticket  testifying  to  his  personality,  and  all 

234  COREA. 

must  "  show  their  tickets"  on  demand.  For  the  people,  this  cer- 
tificate of  identity  is  a  piece  of  branded  or  inscribed  wood,  for  the 
soldiers  of  horn,  for  the  literary  class  and  government  officials  of 
bone.  Often,  the  tablet  is  in  halves,  the  individual  having  one- 
half,  and  the  government  keeping  its  tally.  The  people  who  can- 
not read  or  write  have  their  labels  carefully  tied  to  their  clothing. 
When  called  upon  to  sign  important  documents,  or  bear  witness 
on  trial,  they  make  a  blood-signature,  by  rudely  tracing  the  signs 
set  before  them  in  their  own  blood.  The  name,  residence  of  the 
holder,  and  the  number  of  the  group  of  houses  in  which  he  lives, 
are  branded  or  inscribed  on  the  ho-pai,  or  passport. 

The  actual  workings  of  Corean  justice  will  be  better  under- 
stood when  treating  of  Christianity — an  element  of  social  life 
which  gave  the  pagan  tribunals  plenty  of  work.  Civil  matters  are 
decided  by  the  ordinary  civil  magistrate,  who  is  judge  and  jury  at 
once  ;  criminal  cases  are  tried  by  the  military  commandant.  Very 
important  cases  are  referred  to  the  governor  of  the  province.  The 
highest  court  of  appeal  is  in  the  capital.  Cases  of  treason  and  re- 
bellion, and  charges  against  high  dignitaries,  are  tried  in  the 
capital  before  a  special  tribunal  instituted  by  the  king. 

The  two  classes  of  assistants  to  the  magistrate,  who  are  called 
respectively  Tiai-seiTc  and  a-chen,  act  as  constables  or  sheriffs, 
police  messengers,  and  jailers.  French  writers  term  them  "  pre- 
torians"  and  "satellites."  These  men  have  practically  the  admin- 
istration of  justice,  and  the  details  and  spirit  of  local  authority  are 
in  their  power.  The  hai-seik,  or  constables,  form  a  distinct  class 
in  the  community,  rarely  intermarrying  with  the  people,  and 
handing  down  their  offices,  implements,  and  arts  from  father  to 
son.  The  a-chen,  who  are  the  inferior  police,  jailers,  and  torturers, 
are  from  the  very  lowest  classes,  and  usually  of  brutal  life  and 

The  vocabulary  of  torture  is  sufficiently  copioiis  to  stamp  Cho- 
sen as  still  a  semi-civilized  nation.  The  inventory  of  the  court  and 
prison  comprises  iron  chains,  bamboos  for  beating  the  back,  a 
paddle-shaped  implement  for  inflicting  blows  upon  the  buttocks, 
switches  for  whipping  the  calves  till  the  flesh  is  ravelled,  ropes 
for  sawing  the  flesh  and  bodily  organs,  manacles,  stocks,  and 
boards  to  strike  against  the  knees  and  shin-bones.  Other  punish- 
ments are  suspension  by  the  arms,  tying  the  hands  in  front  of  the 
knees,  between  which  and  the  elbows  is  inserted  a  stick,  while  the 
human  ball  is  rolled  about.  An  ancient  but  now  obsolete  mode 


of  torture  was  to  tie  the  four  limbs  of  a  man  to  the  horns  of  as 
man  y  oxen,  and  then  to  madden  the  beasts  by  fire,  so  that  they 
tore  the  victim  to  fragments.  The  punishment  of  beating  with 
paddles  often  leaves  scars  for  life,  and  causes  ulcers  not  easily 
healed.  One  hundred  strokes  cause  death  in  most  cases,  and 
many  die  under  forty  or  fifty  blows.  For  some  crimes  the  knees 
and  shin-bones  are  battered.  A  woman  is  allowed  to  have  on  one 
garment,  which  is  wetted  to  make  it  cling  to  the  skin  and  in- 
crease the  pain.  The  chief  of  the  lictors,  or  public  spanker,  is 
called  sin-kid.  With  the  long,  flexible  handle  swung  over  his 
head,  he  plies  the  resounding  blows,  planting  them  on  the  bare 
skin  just  above  the  knee-joint,  the  victim  being  held  down  by  four 
gaol3rs.  The  method  of  correction  is  quite  characteristic  of  pa- 
ternal government,  and  is  often  inflicted  upon  the  people  openly 
and  in  public,  at  the  whim  of  the  magistrate.  The  bastinado 
was  formerly,  like  hundreds  of  other  customs  common  to  both 
countries,  in  vogue  in  Japan.  As  in  many  other  instances,  this  has 
survived  in  the  less  civilized  nation. 

When  an  offender  in  the  military  or  literary  class  is  sentenced 
to  death,  decapitation  is  the  rather  honorable  method  employed. 
The  executioner  uses  either  a  sort  of  native  iron  hatchet-sword  or 
cleaver,  or  one  of  the  imported  Japanese  steel-edged  blades, 
which  have  an  excellent  reputation  in  the  peninsula. 

Undoubtedly  the  severity  of  the  Corean  code  has  been  miti- 
gated since  Hamel's  time.  According  to  his  observations,  husbands 
usually  killed  their  wives  who  had  committed  adultery.  A  wife 
murdering  her  husband  was  buried  to  the  shoulders  in  the  earth 
at  the  road  side,  and  all  might  strike  or  mutilate  her  with  axe  or 
sword.  A  serf  who  murdered  his  master  was  tortured,  and  a 
thiet'  might  be  trampled  to  death.  The  acme  of  cruelty  was  pro- 
ducod,  as  in  old  Japan,  by  pouring  vinegar  down  the  criminal's 
throat,  and  then  beating  him  till  he  burst.  The  criminal  code 
now  in  force  is,  in  the  main,  that  revised  and  published  by  the 
king  in  1785,  which  greatly  mitigated  the  one  formerly  used.  One 
disgraceful,  but  not  very  severe,  mode  of  correction  is  to  tie  a 
drum  to  the  back  of  the  offender  and  publicly  proclaim  his  trans- 
gression, while  the  drum  is  beaten  as  he  walks  through  the  streets. 
Amid  many  improvements  on  the  old  barbarous  system  of  aggra- 
vate ig  the  misery  of  the  condemned,  there  still  survive's  a  dis- 
grac  eful  form  of  capital  punishment,  in  which  the  cruelty  takes  on 
the  air  of  savage  refinement.  The  cho-reni-to-ta  appears  only  in 

236  COREA. 

extreme  cases.  The  criminal's  face  is  smeared  with  chalk,  his 
hands  are  tied  behind  him,  a  gong  is  tied  on  his  back,  and  an 
arrow  is  thrust  through  either  ear.  The  executioner  makes  the 
victim  march  round  before  the  spectators,  while  he  strikes  the 
gong,  crying  out,  "  This  fellow  has  committed  [adultery,  murder, 
treason,  etc.].  Avoid  his  crime."  The  French  missionaries  exe- 
cuted near  Seoul  were  all  put  to  death  in  this  barbarous  manner. 

Officials  often  receive  furloughs  to  return  home  and  visit  their 
parents,  for  filial  piety  is  the  supreme  virtue  in  Chinese  Asia. 
The  richest  rewards  on  earth  and  brightest  heaven  hereafter  await 
the  filial  child.  Curses  and  disgrace  in  this  life  and  the  hottest 
hell  in  the  world  hereafter  are  the  penalties  of  the  disobedient  or 
neglectful  child.  The  man  who  strikes  his  father  is  beheaded. 
The  parricide  is  burned  to  death.  Not  to  mourn  long  and  faith- 
fully, by  retiring  from  office  for  months,  is  an  incredible  iniquity. 

Coreans,  like  Japanese,  argue  that,  if  the  law  punishes  crime, 
it  ought  also  to  reward  virtue.  Hence  the  system  which  prevails 
in  the  mikado's  empire  and  in  Cho-sen  of  publicly  awarding  prizes 
to  signal  exemplars  of  filial  piety.  These  in  Japan  may  be  in  the 
form  of  money,  silver  cups,  rolls  of  silk,  or  gewgaws.  In  Corea, 
they  are  ehown  in  monumental  columns,  or  dedicatory  temples, 
or  by  public  honors  and  promotion  to  office.  Less  often  are  the 
rewarded  instances  of  devotion  to  the  mother  than  to  the  father. 

Official  life  has  its  sunshine  and  shadows  in  this  land  as  else-' 
where,  but  perhaps  one  of  the  hardest  tasks  before  the  Corean 
ruling  classes  of  this  and  the  next  generation  is  the  duty  of  dili- 
gently eating  their  words.  Accustomed  for  centuries  to  decry 
and  belittle  the  foreigner  from  Christendom,  they  must  now,  as 
the  people  discern  the  superiority  of  westerners,  "  rise  to  explain  " 
in  a  manner  highly  embarrassing.  In  intellect,  government,  science, 
social  customs,  manual  skill,  refinement,  and  possession  of  the  arts 
and  comforts  of  life,  the  foreigner  will  soon  be  discovered  to  be 
superior.  At  the  same  time  the  intelligent  native  will  behold 
with  how  little  wisdom,  and  how  much  needless  cruelty,  Cho-sen 
13  governed.  The  Japanese  official  world  has  passed  through  such 
an  experience.  If  we  may  argue  from  a  common  ancestry  and 
hereditary  race  traits,  we  may  forecast  the  probability  that  to 
Corea,  as  to  Japan,  may  come  the  same  marvellous  revolution  in 
ideas  and  customs. 



IT  is  remarked  by  Palladius  that  the  Fuyu  race,  the  ancestors 
of  the  modern  Coreans,  was  the  first  to  emerge  from  the  desert 
undor  feudal  forms  of  organization.  The  various  migrations  of 
new  nations  rising  out  of  northern  and  eastern  Asia  were  west- 
ward, and  were  held  together  under  monarchical  systems  of  govern- 
ment. The  Fuyu  tribes  who,  by  turning  their  face  to  the  rising, 
instead  of  the  setting  sun,  were  anomalous  in  the  direction  of 
their  migration,  were  unique  also  in  their  political  genius.  Those 
emigrants  who,  descending  from  the  same  ancestral  seats  in  Man- 
churia, and  through  the  peninsula,  crossed  toward  Nippon,  or 
Sunrise,  and  settled  Japan,  maintained  their  feudalism  until, 
thro  igh  ambitious  desire  to  rival  great  China,  they  borrowed  the 
centralized  system  of  court  and  monarchy  from  the  Tang  dynasty, 
in  the  seventh  century.  The  mikado,  by  means  of  boards  or 
ministries  like  the  Chinese,  ruled  his  subjects  until  the  twelfth 
century.  Then,  through  the  pride  and  ambition  of  the  military 
clans,  which  had  subdued  all  the  tribes  to  his  sway,  feudalism, 
which  had  spread  its  roots,  lifted  its  head.  By  rapid  growths, 
uiid(  r  succeeding  military  regents,  it  grew  to  be  the  tree  over- 
spreading the  empire.  It  was  finally  uprooted  and  destroyed  only 
by  the  revolution  of  1868,  and  the  later  victories  of  united  Japan's 
impc  rial  armies,  at  an  awful  sacrifice  of  life  and  treasure. 

That  branch  of  the  Fuyu  migration  which  remained  in  the 
Corean  peninsula  likewise  preserved  the  institution  of  feudalism 
which  had  been  inherited  from  their  ancestors.  In  their  early 
hist(  ry,  lands  were  held  on  the  tenure  of  military  service,  and  in 
war  time,  or  on  the  accession  of  a  new  dynasty,  rewards  were 
mad  3  by  parcelling  out  the  soil  to  the  followers  of  the  victor. 
ProT  ision  for  a  constant  state  of  servitude  among  one  class  of  the 
polii  ical  body  was  made  by  the  custom  of  making  serfs  of  crimi- 
nals or  their  kindred.  A  nucleus  of  slavery  being  once  formed, 

238  COREA. 

debt,  famine,  capture  in  war,  voluntary  surrender,  would  serve  to 
increase  those  whose  persons  and  labor  were  wholly  or  partly 
owned  by  another.  To  social  prosperity,  religion,  and  the  increase 
of  general  intelligence,  we  may  look  as  elements  for  the  ameliora- 
tion of  serfdom  and  the  elevation  of  certain  classes  of  bondsmen 
into  free  people.  The  forms  of  Corean  society,  to  this  day,  are 
derived  from  feudal  ranks  and  divisions,  and  the  powers,  status, 
divisions,  and  practical  politics  of  the  nobles  have  their  roots  in 
the  ancient  feudalism  which  existed  even  "  before  the  conquest." 
Its  fruit  and  legacy  are  seen  in  the  serfdom  or  slavery  which  is 
Corea's  "domestic"  or  "peculiar"  institution. 

Speaking  in  general  terms,  the  ladder  of  society  has  four  rungs, 
the  king,  nobles,  and  the  three  classes  of  society,  in  the  last  of 
which  are  "  the  seven  low  callings."  In  detail,  the  grades  may  be 
counted  by  the  tens  and  scores.  In  the  lowest  grade  of  the  fourth 
class  are  "the  seven  vile  callings,"  viz.  :  the  merchant,  boatman, 
jailor,  postal  or  mail  slave,  monk,  butcher,  and  sorcerer. 

The  "four  classes  of  society"  include  the  literary  men  or 
officials,  the  farmers,  the  artisans,  and  the  traders.  Among  the 
nobility  are  various  ranks,  indicated  by  titles,  high  offices  at  court, 
or  nearness  of  relationship  to  the  king.  He  is  "  neither  ox  nor 
horse  "  is  the  native  slang  for  one  who  is  neither  noble  nor  com- 
moner. The  nobles  are  usually  the  serf-proprietors  or  slave-hold- 
ers, many  of  them  having  in  their  households  large  numbers 
whom  they  have  inherited  along  with  their  ancestral  chattels. 
The  master  has  a  right  to  sell  or  otherwise  dispose  of  the  children 
of  his  slaves  if  he  so  choose.  The  male  slave  is  called  chong-nom. 
A  free  man  may  marry  a  female  slave,  in  which  case  he  is  termed 
a  pi-pu.  The  male  children  by  this  marriage  are  free,  but  the 
female  offspring  belong  to  the  master  of  the  mother,  and  may  be 
sold.  A  liberated  slave  is  called  pal-sin,  and  he  speaks  of  his 
former  master  as  ku-siang.  The  native  vocabulary  for  the  slave 
in  his  various  relations  is  sufficiently  copious.  "  Fugitive  "  slaves, 
"  slave-hunters,"  and  "  slave-drivers,"  are  as  common  to  the  Co- 
rean ear,  as  to  the  American  in  the  long-ago  days  of  "before  the 
war."  A  pan-no  is  a  bondsman  trying  to  escape,  and  to  attempt 
chiu-ro  is  to  hunt  the  fugitive  and  bring  him  back.  The  in-chang 
is  the  public  slave  of  the  village.  Yet  such  a  thing  as  the  bonds- 
man's servile  love  of  place,  rising  into  swollen  and  oppressive 
pride  that  looks  down  on  the  poor  freeman,  is  a  common  thing, 
and  cruel  and  overbearing  treatment  of  the  peasantry  by  the  min- 


ions  of  a  noble  is  too  frequently  witnessed  in  Corea.  "  TeJc-pun- 
ai'  ("By  your  favor,"  equivalent  to  "Let  me  live,  I  pray  you") 
is  i  cry,  more  than  once  heard  by  French  missionaries,  from  a 
man  beaten  by  the  swaggering  serfs  of  some  nobleman.  It  is 
not  exactly  the  feeling  of  the  sleek  and  well-bred  black  slave  of 
old-time  Virginia  for  "the  poor  white  trash,"  since  in  Corea 
slavery  has  no  color-line ;  yet,  in  essentials  of  circumstance,  it  is 
the  same.  Such  a  phase  of  character  is  more  likely  to  be  devel- 
oped among  the  serfs  of  the  old  barons  or  landed  proprietors  who 
ha^e  longest  occupied  their  hereditary  possessions,  and  who  keep 
up  a  petty  court  within  their  castles  or  semi-fortified  mansions. 

Slavery  or  serfdom  in  Corea  is  in  a  continuous  state  of  decline, 
and  the  number  of  slaves  constantly  diminishing.  In  the  remote 
provinces  it  is  practically  at  an  end.  The  greater  number  of  serfs 
arc  to  be  found  attached  to  the  estates  of  the  great  noble  families 
of  the  central  provinces.  The  slaves  are  those  who  are  born  in  a 
state  of  servitude,  those  who  sell  themselves  as  slaves,  or  those 
who  are  sold  to  be  such  by  their  parents  in  time  of  famine  or  for 
debt.  Infants  exposed  or  abandoned  that  are  picked  up  and 
ed  icated  become  slaves,  but  their  offspring  are  born  free.  The 
sei  f dom  is  really  very  mild.  Only  the  active  young  men  are  held 
to  field  labor,  the  young  women  being  kept  as  domestics.  When 
old  enough  to  marry,  the  males  are  let  free  by  an  annual  payment 
of  a  sum  of  money  for  a  term  of  years.  Often  the  slaves  marry, 
ar<;  assigned  a  house  apart,  and  bound  only  to  a  fixed  amount  of 
labor.  Although  the  master  has  the  power  of  life  and  death  over 
hu  slaves,  the  right  is  rarely  exercised  unjustly,  and  the  mission- 
aries report  that  there  were  few  cases  of  excessive  cruelty  prac- 
tised. An  unjust  master  could  be  cited  before  the  tribunals,  and 
thu  case  inquired  into.  Often  the  actual  condition  of  the  serfs  is 
superior  to  that  of  the  poor  villagers,  and  instances  are  common 
in  which  the  poor,  to  escape  the  rapacity  and  cruelty  of  the  nobles, 
ha  re  placed  themselves  under  the  protection  of  a  master  known  to 
be  a  kind  man,  and  thus  have  purchased  ease  and  comfort  at  the 
sa-  ;rifice  of  liberty. 

Outside  of  private  ownership  of  slaves,  there  is  a  species  of 
government  slavery,  which  illustrates  the  persistency  of  one  feature 
of  ancient  Kokorai  perpetuated  through  twenty  centuries.  It  is  the 
law  that  in  case  of  the  condemnation  of  a  great  criminal,  the  ban 
of  Ui-ro-ui-pi  shall  fall  upon  his  wife  and  children,  who  at  once 
become  the  slaves  of  the  judge.  These  unfortunates  do  not  have 

240  COREA. 

the  privilege  of  honorably  serving  the  magistrate,  but  usually  pass 
their  existence  in  waiting  on  the  menials  in  the  various  depart- 
ments and  magistracies.  Only  a  few  of  the  government  slaves 
are  such  by  birth,  most  of  them  having  become  so  through  judicial 
condemnation  in  criminal  cases ;  but  this  latter  class  fare  far  worse 
than  the  ordinary  slaves.  They  are  chiefly  females,  and  are  treated 
very  little  better  than  beasts.  They  are  at  the  mercy  not  only  of 
the  officers  but  even  of  their  satellites,  servants,  and  grooms,  or 
to  whomever  they  are  sold  for  an  hour.  Nothing  can  equal  the 
contempt  in  which  they  are  held,  and  for  an  honest  or  an  innocent 
woman,  such  a  fate  is  worse  than  many  deaths.  In  the  earliest 
written  account  of  the  Kokorai  people,  the  ancestors  of  the  mod- 
ern Coreans,  we  find  this  same  feature  of  ancient  feudalism  by 
which  a  class  of  serfs  may  be  continually  provided.  To  Christian 
eyes  it  is  a  horrible  relic  of  barbarism. 

The  penal  settlements  on  the  sea-coast,  and  notably  Quelpart 
Island,  are  worked  by  colonies  of  these  male  government  slaves  or 
convicts.  The  females  are  not  usually  sent  away  from  the  place 
of  their  parents  or  their  own  crime. 

In  ancient  times  of  Kokorai  and  Korai  there  were  only  two 
classes  of  people,  the  nobles  and  their  free  retainers,  and  the 
serfs  or  slaves.  The  nobles  were  lords  of  cities  and  castles,  like 
the  daimios  of  Japan,  and  were  very  numerous.  The  whole  coun- 
try was  owned  by  them,  or  at  least  held  in  the  king's  name  under 
tenure  of  military  service — a  lien  which  length  of  time  only 
strengthened.  In  the  long  centuries  of  peace,  many  of  these  old 
families — weakly  descendants  of  vigorous  founders — have  died  out, 
and  the  land  reverting  to  the  sovereign,  or  possessed  by  the  peo- 
ple, is  now  owned  by  a  more  numerous  and  complex  class,  while 
nearly  all  the  cities  and  towns  are  governed  by  officers  sent  out 
by  the  central  authority  at  Seoul.  The  ancient  class  of  serfs  has, 
by  industry  and  intelligence  and  accumulation  of  rights  vested 
in  their  special  occupations,  developed  into  the  various  middle 
classes.  The  nobles  are  now  in  a  minority,  though  at  present 
their  power  is  on  the  increase,  and  their  ancestral  landholds  com- 
prise but  a  small  portion  of  the  soil. 

As  in  medieval  Europe,  so  in  Corea,  where  feudalism,  which 
rests  on  personal  loyalty  to  a  reigning  sovereign,  or  a  particular 
royal  line,  prevails,  a  more  or  less  complete  revolution  of  titles  and 
possessions  takes  place  upon  a  change  of  dynasty.  On  the  acces- 
sion of  the  present  royal  house  in  1392,  the  old  Korai  nobility 


were  impoverished  and  the  partisans  of  the  founder  of  the  Ni,  and 
all  who  had  aided  him  to  the  throne,  became  at  once  the  nobility 
of  the  kingdom,  and  were  rewarded  by  gifts  of  land.  To  the 
victors  belonged  the  spoils.  The  honors,  riches,  and  the  exclu- 
sive right  to  fill  many  of  the  most  desirable  public  offices  were 
awarded  in  perpetuity  to  the  aristocracy.  The  mass  of  the  people 
were  placed  or  voluntarily  put  themselves  under  the  authority  of 
the  nobles.  The  agricultural  class  attached  to  the  soil  simply 
changed  masters  and  landlords,  while  the  cities  and  towns  people 
and  sea-coast  dwellers  became,  only  in  a  nominal  sense,  the  ten- 
antry of  the  nobles.  Gradually,  however,  those  who  had  ability 
and  address  obtained  their  full  liberty,  so  that  they  were  in  no 
way  bound  to  pay  tithe  or  tax  to  the  nobles,  but  only  to  the  cen- 
tral government.  Under  peace,  with  wealth,  intelligence,  combi- 
nation, trade-unions,  and  guilds,  and  especially  by  means  of  the 
literary  examinations,  the  various  classes  of  the  people  emerged 
into  independent  existence,  leaving  but  a  few  of  the  lowest  of  the 
population  in  the  condition  of  serfs  or  slaves.  Between  the  ac- 
counts of  Hamel  in  1653,  and  of  the  French  missionaries  in  the 
last  decade,  there  are  many  indications  of  progress.  Laborers, 
artisans,  merchants,  soldiers,  etc.,  now  have  a  right  to  their  own 
labor  and  earnings,  and  the  general  division  of  the  common- 
wealth is  into  three  classes — nobles,  common  people,  and  serfs  or 
sla^  es. 

Speaking  generally,  the  peculiar  institution  of  Cho-sen  is  'serf- 
dom rather  than  slavery,  and  is  the  inheritence  of  feudalism ;  yet, 
as  llussia  has  had  her  Alexander,  America  her  Lincoln,  and  Japan 
her  Mutsuhito,  we  may  hope  to  see  some  great  liberator  yet  arise 
in  the  "Land  of  Morning  Calm." 

Under  absolute  despotisms,  as  most  Asiatic  governments  are, 
it  ia  a  wonder  to  republicans  how  the  people  enjoy  any  liberty 
at  all.  If  they  have  any,  it  is  interesting  to  study  how  they  have 
attained  it,  and  how  they  hold  it.  Politically,  they  have  absolutely 
no  freedom.  They  know  nothing  of  government,  except  to  pay 
tax<  s  and  obey.  Their  political  influence  is  nothing.  In  Cho-sen, 
according  to  law,  any  person  of  the  common  people  may  compete 
at  t  le  public  examinations  for  civil  or  military  employment,  but, 
in  i  oint  of  fact,  his  degree  is  often  worthless,  for  he  is  not  likely 
to  receive  office  by  it.  In  a  country  where  might  and  wealth 
mal.-e  right,  and  human  beings  are  politically  naught,  being  but 
beasts  of  burden  or  ciphers  without  a  unit,  how  do  the  people 

242  COREA. 

protect  themselves  and  gain  any  liberty  ?     How  does  it  come  to 
pass  that  serfs  may  win  their  way  to  social  freedom  ? 

It  is  by  union  and  organization.  The  spirit  of  association,  so 
natural  and  necessary,  is  spread  among  the  Coreans  of  all  classes, 
from  the  highest  families  to  the  meanest  slaves.  All  those  who 
have  any  kind  of  work  or  interest  in  common  form  guilds,  cor- 
porations, or  societies,  which  have  a  common  fund,  contributed  to 
by  all  for  aid  in  time  of  need.  Very  powerful  trade-unions  exist 
among  the  mechanics  and  laborers,  such  as  porters,  ostlers,  and 
pack-horse  leaders,  hat-weavers,  coffin-makers,  carpenters,  and 
masons.  These  societies  enable  each  class  to  possess  a  monopoly 
of  their  trade,  which  even  a  noble  vainly  tries  to  break.  Some- 
times, they  hold  this  right  by  writ  purchased  or  obtained  from 
government,  though  usually  it  is  by  prescription.  Most  of  the 
guilds  are  taxed  by  the  government  for  their  monopoly  enjoyed. 
They  have  their  chief  or  head  man,  who  possesses  almost  despotic 
power,  and  even,  in  some  guilds,  of  life  and  death.  New  mem- 
bers or  apprentices  may  be  admitted  by  paying  their  rate  and 
submitting  to  the  rules  of  the  guild.  In  the  higher  grades  of  so- 
ciety we  see  the  same  spirit  of  association.  The  temple  attend- 
ants, the  servants  of  the  nobles,  the  gardeners,  messengers,  and 
domestics  of  the  palace,  the  supernumeraries  and  government 
employes,  all  have  their  "rings,"  which  an  outsider  may  not 
break.  Even  among  the  noble  families  the  same  idea  exists  in 
due  form.  The  villages  form  each  a  little  republic,  and  possess 
among  themselves  a  common  fund  to  which  every  family  con- 
tributes. Out  of  this  money,  hid  in  the  earth  or  lent  out  on 
interest,  are  paid  the  public  taxes,  expenses  of  marriage  and 
burial,  and  whatever  else,  by  custom  and  local  opinion,  is  held  to 
be  a  public  matter.  Foreigners,  accustomed  to  the  free  competi- 
tion of  English-speaking  countries,  will  find  in  Cho-sen,  as  they 
found  in  Japan,  and  even  more  so,  the  existence  of  this  spirit  of 
protective  association  and  monopoly  illustrated  in  a  hundred 
forms  which  are  in  turn  amusing,  vexatious,  or  atrocious.  A  man 
who  in  injustice,  or  for  mere  caprice,  or  in  a  fit  of  temper,  dis- 
charges his  ostler,  house-servant,  or  carpenter,  will  find  that  he 
cannot  obtain  another  good  one  very  easily,  even  at  higher  wages, 
or,  if  so,  that  his  new  one  is  soon  frightened  off  the  premises.  To 
get  along  comfortably  in  Chinese  Asia,  one  must,  willy-nilly,  pay 
respect  to  the  visible  or  invisible  spirit  of  trade-unionism  that 
pervades  all  society  in  those  old  countries. 


One  of  the  most  powerful  and  best  organized  guilds  is  that  of 
tbe  porters.  The  interior  commerce  of  the  country  being  almost 
ei.tirely  on  the  backs  of  men  and  pack-horses,  these  people  have 
tbe  monopoly  of  it.  They  number  about  ten  thousand,  and  are 
divided  by  provinces  and  districts  under  the  orders  of  chiefs, 
sub-chiefs,  censors,  inspectors,  etc.  A  large  number  of  these  por- 
ters are  women,  often  poor  widows,  or  those  unable  to  marry. 
Many  of  them  are  of  muscular  frame,  and  their  life  in  the  open 
air  tends  to  develop  robust  forms,  with  the  strength  of  men. 
Taey  speak  a  conventional  language,  easily  understood  among 
th  emselves,  and  are  very  profuse  in  their  salutations  to  each  other. 
Tliey  have  very  severe  rules  for  the  government  of  their  guild, 
aiid  crimes  among  them  are  punished  with  death,  at  the  order  of 
th  eir  chief.  They  are  so  powerful  that  they  pretend  that  even  the 
government  dare  not  interfere  with  them.  They  are  outside  the 
power  of  the  local  magistrate,  just  as  a  German  University  student 
is  responsible  to  the  Faculty,  but  not  to  the  police.  They  are 
honest  and  faithful  in  their  business,  delivering  packages  with 
certainty  to  the  most  remote  places  in  the  kingdom.  They  are 
rather  independent  of  the  people,  and  even  bully  the  officers. 
"When  they  have  received  an  insult  or  injustice,  or  too  low  wages, 
ttey  "strike"  in  a  body  and  retire  from  the  district.  This  puts 
a  stop  to  all  travel  and  business,  until  these  grievances  are  settled 
01  submission  to  their  own  terms  is  made. 

Owing  to  the  fact  that  the  country  at  large  is  so  lacking  in  the 
stops  and  stores  so  common  in  other  countries,  and  that,  instead, 
fairs  on  set  days  are  so  numerous  in  the  towns  and  villages,  the 
guild  of  pedlers  and  hucksters  is  very  large  and  influential.  The 
class  includes  probably  200,000  able-bodied  adult  persons,  who  in 
the  various  provinces  move  freely  among  the  people,  and  are  thus 
useful  to  the  government  as  spies,  detectives,  messengers,  and,  in 
time  of  need,  soldiers.  It  was  from  this  class  that  the  Corean  bat- 
taions  which  figured  prominently  in  the  affair  of  December  4-6, 
1£87,  were  recruited. 



ACCORDING  to  the  opinions  of  the  French  missionaries,  who  were 
familiar  with  the  social  life  of  the  people,  a  Corean  woman  has  no 
moral  existence.  She  is  an  instrument  of  pleasure  or  of  labor ;  but 
never  man's  companion  or  equal.  She  has  no  name.  In  child- 
hood she  receives  indeed  a  surname  by  which  she  is  known  in  the 
family,  and  by  near  friends,  but  at  the  age  of  puberty,  none  but 
her  father  and  mother  employ  this  appellative.  To  all  others  she 
is  "  the  sister  "  of  such  a  one,  or  "  the  daughter "  of  so-and-so. 
After  her  marriage  her  name  is  buried.  She  is  absolutely  name- 
less. Her  own  parents  allude  to  her  by  employing  the  name  of 
the  district  or  ward  in  which  she  has  married.  Her  parents-in- 
law  speak  of  her  by  the  name  of  the  place  in  which  she  lived 
before  marriage,  as  women  rarely  marry  in  the  same  village  with 
their  husbands.  When  she  bears  children,  she  is  "  the  mother  " 
of  so-and-so.  When  a  woman  appears  for  trial  before  a  magis- 
trate, in  order  to  save  time  and  trouble,  she  receives  a  special 
name  for  the  time  being.  The  women  below  the  middle  class 
work  very  hard.  Farm  labor  is  done  chiefly  by  them.  Manure 
is  applied  by  the  women,  rarely  by  the  men.  The  women  carry 
lunch  to  the  laborers  in  the  field,  eating  what  is  left  for  their 
share.  In  going  to  market,  the  women  carry  the  heavier  load.  In 
their  toilet,  the  women  use  rouge,  white  powders,  and  hair  oil. 
They  shave  the  eyebrows  to  a  narrow  line — that  is,  to  a  perfectly 
clean  arch,  with  nothing  straggling.  They  have  luxuriant  hair, 
and,  in  addition,  use  immense  switches  to  fill  out  large  coiffures. 

In  the  higher  classes  of  society,  etiquette  demands  that  the 
children  of  the  two  sexes ,  be  separated  after  the  age  of  eight  or 
ten  years.  After  that  time  the  boys  dwell  entirely  in  the  men's 
apartments,  to  study  and  even  to  eat  and  drink.  The  girls  remain 
secluded  in  the  women's  quarters.  The  boys  are  taught  that  it  is 
a  shameful  thing  even  to  set  foot  in  the  female  part  of  the  house. 


The  girls  are  told  that  it  is  disgraceful  even  to  be  seen  by  males, 
so  that  gradually  they  seek  to  hide  themselves  whenever  any  of 
tLe  male  sex  appear.  These  customs,  continued  from  childhood 
tc  old  age,  result  in  destroying  the  family  life.  A  Corean  of  good 
taste  only  occasionally  holds  conversation  with  his  wife,  whom  he 
regards  as  being  far  beneath  him.  He  rarely  consults  her  on 
anything  serious,  and  though  living  under  the  same  roof,  one  may 
say  that  husband  and  wife  are  widely  separated.  The  female 
apartments  among  the  higher  classes  resemble,  in  most  respects, 
the  zenanas  of  India.  The  men  chat,  smoke,  and  enjoy  them- 
selves in  the  odter  rooms,  and  the  women  receive  their  parents 
ar  d  friends  in  the  interior  apartments.  The  same  custom,  based 
upon  the  same  prejudice,  hinders  the  common  people  in  their  mo- 
ments of  leisure  from  remaining  in  their  own  houses.  The  men 
seek  the  society  of  their  male  neighbors,  and  the  women,  on  their 
part,  unite  together  for  local  gossip.  In  the  higher  classes,  when  a 
young  woman  has  arrived  at  marriageable  age,  none  even  of  her 
own  relatives,  except  those  nearest  of  kin,  is  allowed  to  see  or 
speak  to  her.  Those  who  are  excepted  from  this  rule  must  ad- 
dress her  with  the  most  ceremonious  reserve.  After  their  mar- 
riage, the  women  are  inaccessible.  They  are  nearly  always  con- 
fined to  their  apartments,  nor  can  they  even  look  out  in  the  streets 
without  permission  of  their  lords.  So  strict  is  this  rule  that 
fathers  have  on  occasions  killed  their  daughters,  husbands  their 
wives,  and  wives  have  committed  suicide  when  strangers  have 
touched  them  even  with  their  fingers.  The  common  romances 
or  novels  of  the  country  expatiate  on  the  merits  of  many  a  Corean 
Lucretia.  In  some  cases,  however,  this  exaggerated  modesty  pro- 
du  3es  the  very  results  it  is  intended  to  avoid.  If  a  bold  villain 
or  too  eager  paramour  should  succeed  in  penetrating  secretly 
th(  apartments  of  a  noble  lady,  she  dare  not  utter  a  cry,  nor 
oppose  the  least  resistance  which  might  attract  attention ;  for  then, 
whether  guilty  or  not,  she  would  be  dishonored  forever  by  the 
sin  pie  fact  that  a  man  had  entered  her  chamber.  Every  Corean 
husband  is  a  Csesar  in  this  respect.  If,  however,  the  affair  remains 
a  secret,  her  reputation  is  saved. 

There  is,  however,  another  side.  Though  counting  for  noth- 
ing in  society,  and  nearly  so  in  their  family,  they  are  surrounded 
by  a  certain  sort  of  exterior  respect.  They  are  always  addressed 
in  1  he  formulas  of  honorific  language.  The  men  always  step  aside 
in  1  he  street  to  allow  a  woman  to  pass,  even  though  she  be  of  the 

246  COREA. 

poorer  classes.  The  apartments  of  females  are  inviolable  even  to 
the  minions  of  the  law.  A  noble  who  takes  refuge  in  his  wife's 
room  may  not  be  seized.  Only  in  cases  of  rebellion  is  he  dragged 
forth,  for  in  that  case  his  family  are  reckoned  as  accomplices  in 
his  guilt.  In  other  crimes  the  accused  must  in  some  way  be  en- 
ticed outside,  where  he  may  be  legally  arrested.  When  a  pedler 
visits  the  house  to  show  his  wares,  he  waits  until  the  doors  of  the 
women's  apartments  are  shut.  This  done,  his  goods  are  examined 
in  the  outer  apartments,  which  are  open  to  all.  When  a  man 
wishes  to  mend,  or  go  up  on  his  roof,  he  first  notifies  his  neigh- 
bors, in  order  that  they  may  shut  their  doors  and  windows,  lest 
he  risk  the  horrible  suspicion  of  peeping  at  the  women.  As  the 
Coreans  do  not  see  a  "man  in  the  moon,"  but  only  a  rabbit 
pounding  drugs,  or  a  lady  banished  there  for  a  certain  fault, 
according  as  they  are  most  familiar  with  Sanskrit  or  the  Chinese 
story,  the  females  are  not  afraid  of  this  luminary,  nor  are  the  men 
jealous  of  her,  the  moon  being  female  in  their  ideas  of  gender. 

Marriage  in  Cho-sen  is  a  thing  with  which  a  woman  has  little 
or  nothing  to  do.  The  father  of  the  young  man  communicates, 
either  by  call  or  letter,  with  the  father  of  the  girl  whom  he  wishes 
his  son  to  marry.  This  is  often  done  without  consulting  the  tastes 
or  character  of  either,  and  usually  through  a  middle-man  or  go- 
between.  The  fathers  settle  the  time  of  the  wedding  after  due 
discussion  of  the  contract.  A  favorable  day  is  appointed  by  the 
astrologers,  and  the  arrangements  are  perfected.  Under  this  aspect 
marriage  seems  an  affair  of  small  importance,  but  in  reality  it  is 
marriage  only  that  gives  one  any  civil  rank  or  influence  in  so- 
ciety. Every  unmarried  person  is  treated  as  a  child.  He  may 
commit  all  sorts  of  foolishness  without  being  held  to  account. 
His  capers  are  not  noticed,  for  he  is  not  supposed  to  think  or  act 
seriously.  Even  the  unmarried  young  men  of  twenty-five  or  thirty 
years  of  age  can  take  no  part  in  social  reunions,  or  speak  on  affairs 
of  importance,  but  must  hold  their  tongues,  be  seen  but  not  heard. 
Marriage  is  emancipation.  Even  if  mated  at  twelve  or  thirteen 
years  of  age,  the  married  are  adults.  The  bride  takes  her  place 
among  the  matrons,  and  the  young  man  has  a  right  to  speak 
among  the  men  and  to  wear  a  hat.  The  badge  of  single  or  of 
married  life  is  the  hair.  Before  marriage,  the  youth,  who  goes 
bareheaded,  wears  a  simple  tress,  hanging  down  his  back.  The 
nuptial  tie  is,  in  reality,  a  knot  of  hair,  for  in  wedlock  the  hair  is 
bound  up  on  the  top  of  the  head  and  is  cultivated  on  all  parts  of 


the  scalp.  According  to  old  traditions,  men  ought  never  to  clip 
a  single  hair ;  but  in  the  capital  the  young  gallants,  in  order  to 
idd  to  their  personal  attractions— with  a  dash  of  fashionable  defi- 
ince — trim  their  locks  so  that  their  coiffure  will  not  increase  in 
size  more  than  a  hen's  egg.  The  women,  on  the  contrary,  not 
only  preserve  all  their  own  hair,  but  procure  false  switches  and 
"jraids  to  swell  their  coiffures  to  fashionable  bulk.  They  make  up 
TWO  large  tresses,  which  are  rolled  to  the  back  and  top  of  the 
3  lead,  and  secured  by  a  long  pin  of  silver  or  copper.  The  common 
people  roll  their  plaits  around  their  heads,  like  a  turban,  and 
fhave  the  front  of  the  scalp.  Young  persons  who  insist  on  re- 
maining single,  or  bachelors  arrived  at  a  certain  or  uncertain  age, 
i  nd  who  have  not  yet  found  a  wife,  secretly  cut  off  their  hair,  or 
£.;et  it  done  by  fraud,  in  order  to  pass  for  married  folks  and  avoid 
l>eing  treated  as  children.  Such  a  custom,  however,  is  a  gross 
\iolation  of  morals  and  etiquette.  (See  illustration,  page  161.) 

On  the  evening  before  the  wedding,  the  young  lady  who  is  to 
I  e  married  invites  one  of  her  friends  to  change  her  virginal  coif- 
f  ire  to  that  of  a  married  woman. 

The  bridegroom-to-be  also  invites  one  of  his  acquaintance  to 
"do  up"  his  hair  in  manly  style.  The  persons  appointed  to  per- 
form this  service  are  chosen  with  great  care,  and  as  changing  the 
hair  marks  the  turning-point  in  life,  the  hair-dresser  of  this 
occasion  is  called  the  "  hand  of  honor,"  and  answers  to  the  brides- 
n  aid  and  groomsman  of  other  countries. 

On  the  marriage-day,  in  the  house  of  the  groom,  a  platform  is 
s(  t  up  and  richly  adorned  with  decorative  woven  stuffs.  Parents, 
friends,  and  acquaintances  assemble  in  a  crowd.  The  couple  to 
bo  married — who  may  never  have  seen  or  spoken  to  each  other — 
ai  e  brought  in  and  take  their  places  on  the  platform,  face  to  face. 
T  lere  they  remain  for  a  few  minutes.  They  salute  each  other 
with  profound  obeisance,  but  utter  not  a  word.  This  constitutes 
the  ceremony  of  marriage.  Each  then  retires,  on  either  side ;  the 
biide  to  the  female,  the  groom  to  the  male  apartments,  where 
fe  isting  and  amusement,  after  fashions  in  vogue  in  Cho-sen,  take 
pi  ice.  The  expense  of  a  wedding  is  considerable,  and  the  bride- 
gr  Dom  must  be  unstinting  in  his  hospitality.  Any  failure  in  this 
particular  may  subject  him  to  unpleasant  practical  jokes. 

On  her  wedding-day,  the  young  bride  must  preserve  absolute 
silence,  both  on  the  marriage  platform  and  in  the  nuptial  cham- 
be •.  Etiquette  requires  this  at  least  among  the  nobility.  Though 

248  COREA. 

overwhelmed  with  questions  and  compliments,  silence  is  her  duty. 
She  must  rest  mute  and  impassive  as  a  statue.  She  seats  herseli 
in  a  corner  clothed  in  all  the  robes  she  can  bear  upon  her  person. 
Her  husband  may  disrobe  her  if  he  wishes,  but  she  must  take  no 
part  or  hinder  him.  If  she  utters  a  word  or  makes  a  gesture,  she 
is  made  the  butt  of  the  jokes  and  gossip  of  her  husband's  house 
or  neighborhood.  The  female  servants  of  the  house  place  them- 
selves in  a  peeping  position  to  listen  or  look  through  the  win- 
dows, and  are  sure  to  publish  what  they  see  and  hear  amiss.  Or 
this  may  be  done  to  discover  whether  the  husband  is  pleased  with 
his  wife,  or  how  he  behaves  to  her,  as  is  the  case  in  Japan.  A  bit 
of  gossip — evidently  a  stock  story — is  the  following  from  Dallet : 

A  newly  married  Corean  groom  spent  a  whole  day  among  his 
male  friends,  in  order  to  catch  some  words  from  his  wife  at  their 
first  interview,  after  their  hours  of  separation.  His  spouse  was 
informed  of  this,  and  perhaps  resolved  to  be  obstinate.  Her  hus- 
band, having  vainly  tried  to  make  her  speak,  at  last  told  her  that 
on  consulting  the  astrologers  they  had  said  that  his  wife  was 
mute  from  birth.  He  now  saw  that  such  was  the  case,  and  was 
resolved  not  to  keep  for  his  wife  a  dumb  woman.  Now  in  a  Co- 
rean wedding,  it  is  quite  possible  that  such  an  event  may  take 
place.  One  of  the  contracting  parties  may  be  deaf,  mute,  blind, 
or  impotent.  It  matters  not.  The  marriage  exists.  But  the 
wife,  stung  by  her  husband's  words,  broke  out  in  an  angry  voice, 
"Alas,  the  horoscope  drawn  for  my  partner  is  still  more  true. 
The  diviner  announced  that  I  should  marry  the  son  of  a  rat." 
This,  to  a  Corean,  is  a  great  insult,  as  it  attaints  father  and  son, 
and  hence  the  husband  and  his  father.  The  shouts  of  laughter 
from  the  eavesdropping  female  servants  added  to  the  discomfiture 
of  the  young  husband,  who  had  gained  his  point  of  making  his 
bride  use  her  tongue  at  a  heavy  expense,  for  long  did  his  friends 
jeer  at  him  for  his  bravado,  and  chaff  him  at  catching  a  Tartar. 

From  the  language,  and  from  Japanese  sources,  we  obtain 
some  side-lights  on  the  nuptial  ceremony  and  married  life.  In 
Corean  phrase  hon-sang  (the  wedding  and  the  funeral)  are  the 
two  great  events  of  life.  Many  are  the  terms  relating  to  mar- 
riage, and  the  synonyms  for  conjugal  union.  "To  take  the  hat," 
"to  clip  the  hair,"  "to  don  the  tuft,"  "  to  sit  on  the  mat,"  are  all 
in  use  among  the  gentlemen  of  the  peninsula  to  denote  the  act 
or  state  of  marriage.  The  hat  and  the  hair  play  an  important 
part  in  the  transition  from  single  to  double  blessedness.  All  who 


Hrear  their  locks  ta-rai,  or  in  a  tress  behind,  are  youths  and 
maidens.  Those  with  the  tuft  or  top-knot  are  married.  At  his 
wedding  and  during  the  first  year,  the  bridegroom  wears  a  cap, 
made  of  a  yellow  herb,  which  is  supposed  to  grow  only  near 
Sunto.  Other  honeymoon  caps  are  melon-shaped,  and  made  of 
sable  skin.  Ater  the  chung-mai,  or  middle-man,  has  arranged  the 
]  natch,  and  the  day  is  appointed  for  the  han-sa,  or  wedding,  the 
bride  chooses  two  or  three  maiden  friends  as  "bridesmaids."  If 
rich,  the  bride  goes  to  her  future  husband's  house  in  a  palanquin ; 
if  poor,  she  rides  on  horseback.  Even  the -humblest  maid  uses  a 
sort  of  cap  or  veil,  with  ornaments  on  the  breast,  back,  and  at  the 
[girdle.  When  she  cannot  buy,  she  borrows.  The  prominent  sym- 
bolic figure  at  the  wedding  is  a  goose,  which,  in  Corean  eyes,  is 
the  emblem  of  conjugal  fidelity.  Sometimes  this  mok-an  is  of 
gilded  wood,  sometimes  it  is  made  out  of  a  fish  for  eating,  again 
it  is  a  live  bird  brought  in  a  cloth  with  the  head  visible.  If  in 
the  house,  as  is  usual,  the  couple  ascend  the  piled  mats  or  dais 
;md  the  reciprocal  prostrations,  or  acts  of  mutual  consent,  form 
the  sacramental  part  of  the  ceremony,  and  constitute  marriage. 
The  bride  bows  four  times  to  her  father-in-law  and  twice  to  the 
j^room.  The  groom  then  bows  four  times  to  the  bride.  Other 
symbolic  emblems  are  the  fantastic  shapes  of  straw  (otsuka)  pre- 
sented to  bride  and  groom  alike.  Dried  pheasant  is  also  brought 
in  and  cut.  A  gourd-bottle  of  rice-wine,  decorated  or  tied  with 
red  and  blue  thread,  is  handed  by  the  bride  to  the  groom.  The 
oridesmaids  standing  beside  the  couple  pour  the  liquid  and  pass 
for  exchange  the  one  little  "  cup  of  the  wine  of  mutual  joy,"  sev- 
eral times  filled  and  emptied. 

Then  begins  the  wedding-feast,  when  the  guests  drink  and 
make  merry.  The  important  document  certifying  the  fact  of  wed- 
lock is  called  the  hon-se-chi,  and  is  signed  by  both  parties.  When 
the  woman  is  unable  to  write,  she  makes  "  her  mark  "  (siu-pon) 
by  spreading  out  her  hand  and  tracing  with  a  pencil  the  exact 
profile  of  palm,  wrist,  and  fingers.  Sometimes  the  groom,  in  ad- 
dition to  his  four  prostrations,  which  are  significant  of  fidelity  to 
the  bride,  gives  to  his  father-in-law  a  written  oath  of  constancy  to 
lis  daughter.  Faithfulness  is,  however,  a  typical  feminine,  rather 
~han  masculine,  virtue  in  the  hermit  nation.  The  pong-kang,  a 
rdnd  of  wild  canary  bird,  is  held  up  to  the  wife  as  her  model  of 
conjugal  fidelity.  Another  large  bird,  somewhat  exceeding  a  duck 
i.n  size,  and  called  the  ching-kiong,  is  said  never  to  remate  after 

250  COREA. 

the  death  of  its  consort.  Corean  widows  are  expected  to  imitate 
this  virtuous  fowl.  In  some  places  may  be  seen  the  vermilion 
arch  or  monumental  gateway  erected  to  some  widow  of  faithful 
memory  who  wedded  but  once.  Married  women  wear  two  rino-s 
on  the  ring  finger.  Sixty  years,  or  a  cycle,  completes  the  ideal 
length  of  marital  life,  and  "a  golden  wedding"  is  then  celebrated. 

Among  the  most  peculiar  of  women's  rights  in  Cho-sen  is  the 
curious  custom  forbidding  any  males  in  Seoul  from  being  out 
after  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening.  When  this  Corean  curfew 
sounds,  all  men  must  hie  in-doors,  while  women  are  free  to  ramble 
abroad  until  one  A.M.  To  transgress  this  law  of  pem-ya  brings 
severe  penalty  upon  the  offender.  In-doors,  the  violation  of  the 
privacy  of  the  woman's  quarters  is  punishable  by  exile  or  severe 

The  following  story,  from  Dallet,  further  illustrates  some 
phases  of  their  marriage  customs,  and  shows  that,  while  polygamy 
is  not  allowed,  concubinage  is  a  recognized  institution : 

A  noble  wished  to  marry  his  own  daughter  and  that  of  his 
deceased  brother  to  eligible  young  men.  Both  maidens  were  of 
the  same  age.  He  wished  to  wed  both  well,  but  especially  his 
own  child.  With  this  idea  in  view  he  had  already  refused  some 
good  offers.  Finally  he  made  a  proposal  to  a  family  noted  alike  for 
pedigree  and  riches.  After  hesitating  some  time  which  of  the 
maidens  he  should  dispose  of  first,  he  finally  decided  upon  his  own 
child.  Without  having  seen  his  future  son-in-law,  he  pledged  his 
word  and  agreed  upon  the  night.  Three  days  before  the  ceremony 
he  learned  from  the  diviners  that  the  young  man  chosen  was  silly, 
exceedingly  ugly,  and  very  ignorant.  What  should  he  do  ?  He 
could  not  retreat.  He  had  given  his  word,  and  in  such  a  case  the 
law  is  inflexible.  In  his  despair  he  resolved  upon  a  plan  to  render 
abortive  what  he  could  not  avert.  On  the  day  of  the  marriage, 
he  appeared  in  the  women's  apartments,  and  gave  orders  in  the 
most  imperative  manner  that  his  niece,  and  not  his  daughter, 
should  don  the  marriage  coiffure  and  the  wedding-dress,  and 
mount  the  nuptial  platform.  His  stupefied  daughter  could  not 
but  acquiesce.  The  two  cousins  being  of  about  the  same  height, 
the  substitution  was  easy,  and  the  ceremony  proceeded  according 
to  the  usual  forms.  The  new  bridegroom  passed  the  afternoon  in 
the  men's  apartments,  where  he  met  his  supposed  father-in-law. 
What  was  the  amazement  of  the  old  noble  to  find  that  far  from 
being  stupid  and  ugly,  as  depicted  by  the  diviners,  the  young  man 


was  good-looking,  well-formed,  intelligent,  highly  educated,  and 
amiable  in  manners.  Bitterly  regretting  the  loss  of  so  accom- 
plished a  son-in-law,  he  determined  to  repair  the  evil.  He  secretly 
ordered  that,  instead  of  his  niece,  his  daughter  should  be  intro- 
duced as  the  bride.  He  knew  well  that  the  young  man  would 
suspect  nothing,  for  during  the  salutations  the  brides  are  always 
so  muffled  up  with  dresses  and  loaded  with  ornaments  that  it  is 
impossible  to  distinguish  their  countenances. 

All  happened  as  the  old  man  desired.  During  the  two  or 
three  days  which  he  passed  with  the  new  family,  he  congratulated 
himself  upon  obtaining  so  excellent  a  son-in-law.  The  latter,  on 
his  part,  showed  himself  more  and  more  charming,  and  so  gained 
the  heart  of  his  supposed  father-in-law  that,  in  a  burst  of  confi- 
dence, the  latter  revealed  to  him  all  that  had  happened.  He  told 
of  the  diviners'  reports  concerning  him,  and  the  successive  substi- 
tutions of  niece  for  daughter  and  daughter  for  niece. 

The  young  man  was  at  first  speechless,  then,  recovering  his 
composure,  said:  "All  right,  and  that  is  a  very  smart  trick  on 
your  part.  But  it  is  clear  that  both  the  two  young  persons  belong 
to  me,  and  I  claim  them.  Your  niece  is  my  lawful  wife,  since  she 
has  made  to  me  the  legal  salute,  and  your  daughter — introduced 
by  yourself  into  my  marriage-chamber — has  become  of  right  and 
law  my  concubine."  The  crafty  old  man,  caught  in  his  own  net, 
had  nothing  to  answer.  The  two  young  women  were  conducted 
to  the  house  of  the  new  husband  and  master,  and  the  old  noble 
•>vas  jeered  at  both  for  his  lack  of  address  and  his  bad  faith. 

It  is  the  reciprocal  salutation  before  witnesses  on  the  wedding- 
dais  that  constitutes  legitimate  marriage.  From  that  moment  a 
husband  may  claim  the  woman  as  his  wife.  If  he  repudiates  or 
( tivorces  her,  he  may  not  marry  another  woman  while  his  former 
•vvife  is  living,  but  he  is  free  to  take  as  many  concubines  as  he  can 
f-upport.  It  is  sufficient  that  a  man  is  able  to  prove  that  he  has 
had  intimate  relations  with  a  maiden  or  a  widow;  she  then  be- 
comes his  legal  property.  No  person,  not  even  her  parents,  can 
claim  her  if  the  man  persists  in  keeping  her.  If  she  escape,  he 
may  use  force  to  bring  her  back  to  his  house.  Conjugal  fidelity — 
<  >bligatory  on  the  woman — is  not  required  of  the  husband,  and  a 
^vife  is  little  more  than  a  slave  of  superior  rank.  Among  the 
nobles,  the  young  bridegroom  spends  three  or  four  days  with  his 
bride,  and  then  absents  himself  from  her  for  a  considerable  time,  to 
prove  that  he  does  not  esteem  her  too  highly.  Etiquette  dooms 

252  COREA. 

her  to  a  species  of  widowhood,  while  he  spends  his  hours  of  relax- 
ation in  the  society  of  his  concubines.  To  act  otherwise  would  be 
considered  in  very  bad  taste,  and  highly  unfashionable.  Instances 
are  known  of  nobles  who,  having  dropped  a  few  tears  at  the  death 
of  their  wives,  have  had  to  absent  themselves  from  the  saloons  of 
their  companions  to  avoid  the  torrent  of  ribaldry  and  jeers  at  such 
weakness.  Such  eccentricity  of  conduct  makes  a  man  the  butt  of 
long-continued  railery. 

Habituated  from  infancy  to  such  a  yoke,  and  regarding  them- 
selves as  of  an  inferior  race,  most  women  submit  to  their  lot  with 
exemplary  resignation.  Having  no  idea  of  progress,  or  of  an  in- 
fraction of  established  usage,  they  bear  all  things.  They  become 
devoted  and  obedient  wives,  jealous  of  the  reputation  and  well- 
being  of  their  husbands.  They  even  submit  calmly  to  the  tyranny 
and  unreason  of  their  mothers-in-law.  Often,  however,  there  is 
genuine  rebellion  in  the  household.  Adding  to  her  other  faults  of 
character,  violence  and  insubordination,  a  Corean  wife  quarrels 
with  her  mother-in-law,  makes  life  to  her  husband  a  burden,  and  in- 
cessantly provokes  scenes  of  choler  and  scandal.  Among  the  lower 
classes,  in  such  cases,  a  few  strokes  of  a  stick  or  blows  of  the  fist 
bring  the  wife  to  terms.  In  the  higher  classes  it  is  not  proper 
to  strike  a  woman,  and  the  husband  has  no  other  course  than  that 
of  divorce.  If  it  is  not  easy  for  him  to  marry  again,  he  submits. 
If  his  wife,  not  content  with  tormenting  him,  is  unfaithful  to  him, 
or,  deserting  his  bed,  goes  back  to  her  own  house,  he  can  lead  her 
before  the  magistrate,  who  after  administering  a  beating  with  the 
paddles,  gives  her  as  a  concubine  to  one  of  his  underlings. 

Women  of  tact  and  energy  make  themselves  respected  and  con- 
quer their  legitimate  position,  as  the  following  example  shows.  It 
is  taken  by  Dallet  from  a  Corean  treatise  on  morals  for  the  youth 
of  both  sexes : 

Toward  the  end  of  the  last  century  a  noble  of  the  capital,  of 
high  rank,  lost  his  wife,  by  whom  he  had  had  several  children. 
His  advanced  age  rendered  a  second  marriage  difficult.  Never- 
theless, the  middle -men  (or  marriage-brokers  employed  in  such 
cases)  decided  that  a  match  could  be  made  with  the  daughter  of  a 
poor  noble  in  the  province  of  Kiung-sang.  On  the  appointed  day 
he  appeared  at  the  mansion  of  his  future  father-in-law,  and  the 
couple  mounted  the  stage  to  make  the  salute  according  to  custom. 
Our  grandee,  casting  his  eyes  upon  his  new  wife,  stopped  for  the 
moment  thunderstruck.  She  was  very  fat,  ugly,  hump-backed, 


und  appeared  to  be  as  slightly  favored  with  gifts  of  mind  as  of 

But  he  could  not  withdraw,  and  he  played  his  part  firmly.  He 
resolved  neither  to  take  her  to  his  house  nor  to  have  anything  to 
do  with  her.  The  two  or  three  days  which  it  was  proper  to  pass 
in  his  father-in-law's  house  being  spent,  he  departed  for  the  capital 
f>nd  paid  no  further  attention  to  his  new  relatives. 

The  deserted  wife,  who  was  a  person  of  a  great  deal  of  intelli- 
gence, resigned  herself  to  her  isolation  and  remained  in  her 
lather's  house,  keeping  herself  informed,  from  time  to  time,  of 
what  happened  to  her  husband.  She  learned,  after  two  or  three 
years,  that  he  had  become  minister  of  the  second  rank,  and  that 
lie  had  succeeded  in  marrying  his  two  sons  very  honorably.  Some 
years  later,  she  heard  that  he  proposed  to  celebrate,  with  all 
proper  pomp,  the  festivities  of  his  sixtieth  birthday.  Immediately, 
without  hesitation  and  in  spite  of  the  remonstrances  and  opposition 
of  her  parents,  she  took  the  road  to  the  capital.  There  hiring  a 
palanquin,  she.  was  taken  to  the  house  of  the  minister  and  an- 
nounced herself  as  his  wife.  She  alighted,  entered  the  vestibule, 
and  presented  herself  with  an  air  of  assurance  and  a  glance  of 
tranquillity  at  the  women  of  the  united  families.  Seating  herself  at 
the  place  of  honor,  she  ordered  some  fire  brought,  and  with  the 
greatest  calmness  lighted  her  pipe  before  the  amazed  domestics. 
The  news  was  carried  to  the  outer  apartments  of  the  gentlemen, 
I  ut,  according  to  etiquette,  no  one  appeared  surprised. 

Finally  the  lady  called  together  the  household  slaves  and  said 
to  them,  in  a  severe  tone,  "What  house  is  this?  I  am  your  mis- 
tress, and  yet  no  one  comes  to  receive  me.  Where  have  you  been 
brought  up  ?  I  ought  to  punish  you  severely,  but  I  shall  pardon 
you  this  time."  They  hastened  to  conduct  her  into  the  midst  of 
all  the  female  guests.  "Where  are  my  sons-in-law?"  she  de- 
manded. " How  is  it  that  they  do  not  come  to  salute  me?  They 
forget  that  I  am  without  any  doubt,  by  my  marriage,  the  mother 
of  their  wives,  and  that  I  have  a  right,  on  their  part,  to  all  the 
honors  due  to  their  own  mothers." 

Forthwith  the  two  daughters-in-law  presented  themselves  with 
a  shamed  air,  and  made  their  excuses  as  well  as  they  were  able. 
She  rebuked  them  gently,  and  exhorted  them  to  show  themselves 
more  scrupulous  in  the  accomplishment  of  their  duties.  She  then 
gave  different  orders  in  her  quality  as  mistress  of  the  house. 

Some  hours  after,  seeing  that  neither  of  the  men  appeared,  she 

254  COREA. 

called  a  slave  to  her,  and  said  to  him  :  "  My  two  sons  are  surely 
not  absent  on  such  a  day  as  this.  See  if  they  are  in  the  men's 
apartments,  and  bid  them  come  here."  The  sons  presented  them- 
selves before  her,  much  embarrassed,  and  blundered  out  some  ex- 
cuses. "How?"  said  she,  "you  have  heard  of  my  arrival  for 
several  hours  and  have  not  come  to  salute  me?  With  such  bad 
bringing  up,  and  an  equal  ignorance  of  principles  of  action,  how 
will  you  make  your  way  in  the  world?  I  have  pardoned  my 
slaves  and  my  daughters-in-law  for  their  want  of  politeness,  but 
for  you  who  are  men  I  cannot  let  this  fault  pass  unpunished." 
With  this  she  called  a  slave  and  bade  him  give  them  some  strokes 
on  the  legs  with  a  rod.  Then  she  added,  "  For  your  father,  the 
minister,  I  am  his  servant,  and  I  have  not  had  orders  to  yield  to 
him ;  but,  as  for  you,  henceforth  do  you  act  so  as  not  to  forget 
proprieties."  Finally  the  minister  himself,  thoroughly  astonished 
at  all  that  had  passed,  was  obliged  to  come  to  terms  and  to  salute 
his  wife.  Three  days  after,  the  festivities  being  ended,  he  re- 
turned to  the  palace.  The  king  asked  familiarly  if  all  had  passed 
off  happily.  The  minister  narrated  in  detail  the  history  of  his 
marriage,  the  unexpected  arrival  of  his  wife,  and  how  she  had  con- 
ducted herself.  The  king,  who  was  a  man  of  sense,  replied :  "You 
have  acted  unjustly  toward  your  wife.  She  appears  to  me  to  be  a 
woman  of  spirit  and  extraordinary  tact.  Her  behavior  is  admira- 
ble, and  I  don't  know  how  to  praise  her  enough.  I  hope  you  will 
repair  the  wrongs  you  have  done  her."  The  minister  promised, 
and  some  days  later  solemnly  conferred  upon  his  wife  one  of  the 
highest  dignities  of  the  court. 

The  woman  who  is  legally  espoused,  whether  widow  or  slave, 
enters  into  and  shares  the  entire  social  estate  of  her  husband. 
Even  if  she  be  not  noble  by  birth  she  becomes  so  by  marrying  a 
noble,  and  her  children  are  so  likewise.  If  two  brothers,  for  ex- 
ample, espouse  an  aunt  and  a  niece,  and  the  niece  falls  to  the  lot 
of  the  elder,  she  becomes  thereby  the  elder  sister,  and  the  aunt 
will  be  treated  as  a  younger  sister.  This  relation  of  elder  and 
younger  sisters  makes  an  immense  difference  in  life,  position,  and 
treatment,  in  all  Chinese  Asia. 

It  is  not  proper  for  a  widow  to  remarry.  In  the  higher  classes 
a  widow  is  expected  to  weep  for  her  deceased  husband,  and  to  wear 
mourning  all  her  life.  It  would  be  infamy  for  her,  however  young, 
to  marry  a  second  time.  The  king  who  reigned  1469-1494  excluded 
children  of  remarried  widows  from  competition  at  the  public  exami- 


nations,  and  from  admittance  to  any  official  employment.     Even 
to  the  present  day  such  children  are  looked  upon  as  illegitimate. 

Among  a  people  so  passionate  as  Coreans,  grave  social  disor- 
ders result  from  such  a  custom.  The  young  noble  widows  who 
cannot  remarry  become,  in  most  cases,  secretly  or  openly  the  con- 
eubines  of  those  who  wish  to  support  them.  The  others  who 
strive  to  live  chastely  are  rudely  exposed  to  the  inroads  of  pas- 
fdon.  Sometimes  they  are  made  intoxicated  by  narcotics  which  are 
put  in  their  drink,  and  they  wake  to  find  themselves  dishonored. 
Sometimes  they  are  abducted  by  force,  during  the  night,  by  the 
jiid  of  hired  bandits.  When  they  become  victims  of  violence, 
rJiere  is  no  remedy  possible.  It  often  happens  that  young  widows 
commit  suicide,  after  the  death  of  their  husbands,  in  order  to 
prove  their  fidelity  and  to  secure  their  honor  and  reputation 
beyond  the  taint  of  suspicion.  Such  women  are  esteemed  models 
of  chastity,  and  there  is  no  end  to  their  praises  among  the  nobles. 
Through  their  influence,  the  king  often  decrees  a  memorial  gate- 
way, column,  or  temple,  intended  to  be  a  monument  of  their  hero- 
ism and  virtue.  Thus  it  has  often  happened  that  Christian 
widows  begged  of  the  missionary  fathers  permission  to  commit 
suicide,  if  attempts  were  made  to  violate  their  houses  or  their  per- 
sons ;  and  it  was  with  difficulty  that  they  could  be  made  to  com- 
prehend the  Christian  doctrine  concerning  suicide. 

The  usual  method  of  self-destruction  is  ja-mun,  or  cutting  the 
1  hroat,  or  opening  the  abdomen  with  a  sword.  In  this  the  Coreans 
are  like  the  Japanese,  neck-cutting  or  piercing  being  the  feminine, 
nnd  hara-kiri  (belly-cutting)  the  masculine,  method  of  ending  life 
lit  one's  own  hands. 

Among  the  common  people,  second  marriages  are  forbidden 
neither  by  law  nor  custom,  but  wealthy  families  endeavor  to  imi- 
1ate  the  nobles  in  this  custom  as  in  others.  Among  the  poor, 
necessity  knows  no  law.  The  men  must  have  their  food  pre- 
pared for  them,  and  women  cannot,  and  do  not  willingly  die  of 
iamine  when  a  husband  offers  himself.  Hence  second  marriages 
r.mong  the  lowly  are  quite  frequent. 

Most  of  the  facts  stated  in  this  chapter  are  drawn  from  Dai- 
let's  "History  of  the  [Koman  Catholic]  Church  in  Corea."  Mak- 
ing due  allowance  for  the  statements  of  celibate  priests,  who  are 
{liens  in  religion,  nationality,  and  civilization,  the  picture  of  the 
social  life  of  Cho-sen  is  that  of  abominable  heathenism. 

.       CHAPTEE  XXIX. 


JUDGING  from  a  collection  of  the  toys  of  Corean  children,  and 
from  their  many  terms  of  affection  and  words  relating  to  games 
and  sports,  festivals  and  recreation,  nursery  stories,  etc.,  the  life 
of  the  little  Kim  or  Ni  must  be  a  pleasant  one.  For  the  blessings 
of  offspring  the  parents  offer  rice  to  the  god  of  the  household 
(sam-sin-hang),  whose  tiny  shrine  holds  a  place  of  honor  in  some 
ornamental  niche  in  the  best  room.  When  the  baby  begins  to 
grow,  cradles  being  unknown,  the  mother  puts  the  infant  to  sleep 
by  to-tak,  to-tak — patting  it  lightly  on  the  stomach.  When  it  is 
able  to  take  its  first  step  across  the  floor — the  tiger-skin  rug  being 
ready  to  ease  its  possible  fall — this  important  household  event, 
spoken  of  with  joy  as  iheja-pak,  ja-pak,  is  described  to  the  neigh- 
bors. As  the  child  grows  up  and  is  able  to  walk  and  run  about, 
the  hair  is  mostly  shaved  off,  so  that  only  a  "button  of  jade"  is 
left  on  the  top  of  the  head.  This  infantile  tuft  takes  its  name  from 
the  badge  or  togle  worn  on  the  top  of  the  men's  caps  in  winter. 
A  child,  "three  feet  high,"  very  beautiful  and  well  formed,  docile 
and  strong,  if  a  son,  is  spoken  of  "  as  a  thousand-mile  horse  " — one 
who  promises  to  make  an  alert  and  enduring  man.  A  child  noted 
for  filial  piety  will  even  cheerfully  commit  tan-ji — cutting  his  fin- 
ger to  furnish  his  blood  as  a  remedy  for  the  sickness  of  father  or 
mother.  Should  the  child  die,  a  stone  effigy  or  statue  of  itself  is 
set  up  before  his  grave. 

In  the  capital  and  among  the  higher  classes,  the  children's 
toys  are  very  handsome,  ranking  as  real  works  of  art,  while  in 
every  class  the  playthings  of  the  tiny  Corean  humanity  form  but 
a  miniature  copy  of  the  life  of  their  elders.  Among  the  living  pets, 
the  monkey  is  the  favorite.  These  monkeys  are  fitted  with  jack- 
ets, and  when  plump  and  not  too  mischievous  make  capital  pets 
for  the  boys.  Puppies  share  the  affections  of  the  nursery  with  the 
tiger  on  wheels.  Made  of  paper  pulp  and  painted,  this  harmless 
effigy  of  the  king  of  beasts  is  pulled  about  with  a  string.  A 

CHILD  LIFE.  257 

jumping-jack  is  but  a  copy  of  the  little  boy  who  pulls  it.  A  jerk 
of  the  string  draws  in  the  pasteboard  tongue,  and  sends  the  trum- 
pet to  his  mouth.  Official  life  is  mirrored  in  the  tasselled  um- 
brella, the  fringed  hats,  and  the  toy-chariot  with  fancy  wheels. 
Other  toys,  such  as  rattles,  flags,  and  drums,  exactly  imitate  the 
larger  models  with  which  the  grown-up  men  and  women  amuse 
themselves.  All  these  are  named,  fashioned,  and  decorated  in  a 
style  peculiarly  Corean.  Among  the  most  common  of  the  chil- 
dren's plays  are  the  following  :  A  ring  is  hidden  in  a  heap  of  sand, 
and  the  urchins  poke  sticks  into  and  through*the  pile  to  find  it. 
Whoever  transfixes  the  circlet  wins  the  game,  suggesting  our  girls' 
g;ime  of  grace-hoop,  though  often  taking  a  longer  time.  Ko- 
s<  ttes  or  pin  wheels  of  paper  are  made  and  fastened  on  the  end 
oi  sticks.  Running  before  the  breeze,  the  miniature  windmills 
aiford  hilarious  delight. 

The  children's  way  of  bringing  rain  is  to  move  the  lips  up  and 
down,  distending  the  cheeks  and  pressing  the  breath  through  the 
lips.  Playing  "  dinner  "  with  tiny  cups  and  dishes,  and  imitating 
the  ponderous  etiquette  of  their  elders,  is  a  favorite  amusement. 
Soe-saw  is  rougher  and  more  exhilarating.  Games  of  response 
are  often  played  with  hands,  head,  or  feet,  in  which  one  watches 
the  motions  of  his  rival,  opens  or  shuts  his  hands,  and  pays  a  for- 
feit or  loses  the  game  when  a  false  move  is  made.  For  the  coast- 
dwellers,  the  sea-shore,  with  the  rocks  which  are  the  refuge  of 
the  shell-fish,  is  the  inexhaustible  playground  of  the  children. 
Looking  down  in  the  clear  deep  water  of  the  archipelago  they  see 
the  coral  reefs,  the  bright  flower-gardens  of  marine  plants,  and 
shoals  of  striped,  banded,  crimson-tailed,  and  green-finned  fish, 
which,  in  the  eastern  seas,  glitter  with  tints  of  gold  and  silver. 
The  children,  half  naked,  catch  the  crabs  and  lobsters,  learning 
hew  to  hold  their  prizes  after  many  a  nab  and  pinch,  which  bring 
infantile  tears  and  squalls.  One  of  the  common  playthings  of 
Ccrean  children,  the  "baby's  rattle,"  is  the  dried  leathery  egg  of 
tho  skate,  which  with  a  few  pebbles  inside  makes  the  infant,  if  not 
ite  parents,  happy  with  the  din. 

Besides  a  game  of  patting  and  dabbling  in  the  water — chal^pak, 
chal-pak — boys  amuse  themselves  by  fishing  with  hook  and  line  or 
net.  One  method  is  to  catch  fish  by  means  of  the  yek-kui.  This 
is  a  plant  of  peppery  taste,  which  poisons  or  stupefies  the  fish  that 
bii  e  the  tempting  tip,  making  them  easy  prey.  More  serious  in- 
door  games  played  by  women  and  children  are  pa-tok,  or  back- 

258  COREA. 

gammon ;  sang-pi-yen,  dominoes ;  siu-tu-chen,  game  of  eighty 
cards  ;  and  chang-keui,  or  chess.  All  these  pastimes  are  quite 
different  from  ours  of  the  same  name,  yet  enough  like  them  to  be 
recognized  as  belonging  to  the  species  named.  The  festivals 
most  intensely  enjoyed  by  the  children  are  those  of  "Treading  the 
Bridges,"  "The  Meeting  of  the  Star  Lovers,"  and  the  "Mouse  Fire." 
There  is  one  evening  in  the  year  in  which  men  and  children,  as 
•well  as  women,  are  allowed  to  be  out  in  the  streets  of  the  capital. 
The  people  spend  the  greater  part  of  the  night  in  passing  and  re- 
passing  upon  the  ifttle  bridges  of  stone.  It  is  a  general  "  night  out " 
for  all  the  people.  Comedians,  singers,  harlequins,  and  merry- 
makers of  all  kinds  are  abroad,  and  it  being  moonlight,  all  have  a 
good  time  in  "  treading  the  bridges."  On  the  seventh  day  of  the 
seventh  month,  the  festival  honored  in  China,  Corea,  and  Japan 
takes  place,  for  which  children  wait,  in  expectation,  many  days  in 
advance.  Sweetmeats  are  prepared,  and  bamboos  strung  with  strips 
of  colored  paper  are  the  symbols  of  rejoicing.  On  this  night  the 
two  stars  Capricornus  and  Alpha  Lyra  (or  the  Herd-boy  and  Spin- 
ning Maiden)  are  in  conjunction  in  the  milky  way 1  (or  the  River  of 
Heaven),  and  wishes  made  at  this  time  are  supposed  to  come  true. 

Chu-pul,  or  the  Mouse  Fire,  occurs  in  the  twelfth  month,  on  the 
day  of  the  Mouse  (or  rat).  Children  light  brands  or  torches  of  dry 
reeds  or  straw,  and  set  fire  to  the  dry  herbage,  stubble,  and  shrub- 
bery on  the  borders  of  the  roads,  in  order  to  singe  the  hair  of  the 
various  field  or  ground-burrowing  animals,  or  burn  them  out,  so 
as  to  obtain  a  plentiful  crop  of  cotton. 

At  school,  the  pupils  study  according  to  the  method  all  over 
Asia,  that  is,  out  loud,  and  noisily.  This  kang-siong,  or  deafening 
buzz,  is  supposed  to  be  necessary  to  sound  knowledge.  Besides 
learning  the  Chinese  characters  and  the  vernacular  alphabet,  with 
tongue,  ear,  eye,  and  pen,  the  children  master  the  ku-ku  ("nine 
times  nine  "),  or  the  multiplication  table,  and  learn  to  work  the 
four  simple  rules  of  arithmetic,  and  even  fractions,  involution,  and 
evolution  on  the  chon-pan,  or  sliding  numeral  frame.  A  "red 
mark  "  is  a  vermilion  token  of  a  good  lesson,  made  by  the  exam- 
iner ;  and  for  a  good  examination  passed  rewards  are  given  in  the 
form  of  a  first-rate  dinner,  or  one  or  all  of  "  the  four  friends  of 
the  study  table" — pens,  ink,  paper,  and  inkstand,  or  brushes, 
sticks  of  "India"  ink,  rolls  of  unsized  paper,  and  an  inkstone 

1  See  "  The  Meeting  of  the  Star  Lovers,"  in  Japanese  Fairy  World. 


or  water-dropper.  Writing  a  good  autograph  signature — "one's 
own  pen" — is  highly  commended.  Sometimes  money  is  given  for 
encouragement,  which  the  promising  lad  saves  up  in  an  earthen 
savings-bank.  Not  a  few  of  the  youth  of  the  humbler  classes, 
who  work  in  the  fields  by  day  and  study  the  characters  by  night, 
rise  to  be  able  officers  who  fill  high  stations. 

The  French  missionaries  assure  us  that  the  normal  Corean  is 
fond  of  children,  especially  of  sons,  who  in  his  eyes  are  worth  ten 
times  as  much  as  daughters.  Such  a  thing  as  exposure  of  children 
i^  almost  unknown.  In  times  of  severe  famine  this  may  happen 
after  failure  to  give  away  or  sell  for  a  season,  that  they  may  be 
bought  back.  Parents  rarely  find  their  family  too  numerous. 

The  first  thing  inculcated  in  a  child's  mind  is  respect  for  his 
father.  All  insubordination  is  immediately  and  sternly  repressed. 
Far  different  is  it  with  the  mother.  She  yields  to  her  boy's 
caprices  and  laughs  at  his  faults  and  vices  without  rebuke.  The 
child  soon  learns  that  a  mother's  authority  is  next  to  nothing.  In 
speaking  of  his  father  a  lad  often  adds  the  words  "  severe," 
"terrible,"  implying  the  awe  and  profound  respect  in  which  he 
holds  his  father.  (Something  of  the  same  feeling  prevails  as  in 
Jupan,  where  the  four  dreadful  things  which  a  lad  most  fears,  and 
which  are  expressed  in  a  rhyming  proverb,  are :  "Earthquake, 
wind,  fire,  and  father,"  or  "daddy.")  On  the  contrary,  in  speak- 
ing of  his  mother,  he  adds  the  words  "good,"  "indulgent,"  "I'm 
not  afraid  of  her,"  etc.  A  son  must  not  play  nor  smoke  in  his 
father's  presence,  nor  assume  free  or  easy  posture  before  him.  For 
lounging,  there  is  a  special  room,  like  a  nursery.  The  son  waits 
on  his  father  at  meals  and  gets  his  bed  ready.  If  he  is  old  or  sick- 
ly, the  son  sleeps  near  him  and  does  not  quit  his  side  night  or  day. 
If  he  is  in  prison  the  son  takes  up  his  abode  in  the  vicinity,  to 
communicate  with  his  parent  and  furnish  him  with  luxuries.  In 
case  of  imprisonment  for  treason,  the  son  at  the  portal,  on  bended 
knees  day  and  night,  awaits  the  sentence  that  will  reduce  himself 
to  slavery.  If  the  accused  is  condemned  to  exile,  the  son  must 
at  least  accompany  his  father  to  the  end  of  the  journey,  and,  in 
some  cases,,  share  banishment  with  him.  Meeting  his  father  in 
the  street,  the  son  must  make  profound  salute  on  his  knees,  in 
the  dust,  or  in  the  ditch.  In  writing  to  him,  he  must  make  free 
use  of  the  most  exaggerated  honorifics  which  the  Corean  knows. 

The  practice  of  adoption  is  common,  as  it  is  abnormally  so 
in  all  countries  where  ancestral  worship  is  prevalent  and  underlies 

260  COREA. 

all  religions.  The  preservation  of  the  family  line  is  the  supreme 
end  and  aim  of  life.  In  effect  all  those  persons  are  descendants 
of  particular  ancestors  who  will  keep  up  the  ancestral  sacrifices, 
guard  the  tablets  and  observe  the  numerous  funeral  and  mourning 
ceremonies  which  make  life  such  a  burden  in  Eastern  Asia.  Daugh- 
ters are  not  adopted,  because  they  cannot  accomplish  the  pre- 
scribed rites.  When  parents  have  only  a  daughter,  they  marry 
her  to  an  adopted  son,  who  becomes  head  of  the  family  so  adopted 
into.  Even  the  consent  of  the  adopted,  or  of  his  parents,  is  not 
always  requisite,  for  as  it  is  a  social,  as  well  as  a  religious  neces- 
sity, the  government  may  be  appealed  to,  and,  in  case  of  need, 
forces  acceptance  of  the  duty.  In  this  manner,  as  in  the  patri- 
archal age  of  biblical  history,  a  man  may  be  coerced  into  "  rais- 
ing up  seed"  to  defunct  ancestors. 

Properly,  an  adoption,  to  be  legal,  ought  to  be  registered  at 
the  office  of  the  Board  of  Rites,  but  this  practice  has  fallen  into 
disuse,  and  it  is  sufficient  to  give  public  notice  of  the  fact  among 
the  two  families  concerned.  An  adoption  once  made  cannot  be 
void  except  by  a  decree  from  the  Tribunal  of  Rites,  which  is  diffi- 
cult to  obtain.  In  practice,  the  system  of  adoption  results  in 
many  scandals,  quarrels,  jealousies,  and  all  the  train  of  evils  which 
one  familiar  with  men  and  women,  as  they  are,  might  argue  a 
priori  without  the  facts  at  hand.  The  iron  fetters  of  Asiatic  in- 
stitutions cannot  suppress  human  nature. 

Primogeniture  is  the  rigid  rule.  Younger  sons,  at  the  time  of 
their  marriage,  or  at  other  important  periods  of  life,  receive  pater- 
nal gifts,  now  more,  now  less,  according  to  usage,  rank,  the  family 
fortune,  etc.,  but  the  bulk  of  the  property  belongs  to  the  oldest 
son,  on  whom  the  younger  sons  look  as  their  father.  He  is  the 
head  of  the  family,  and  regards  his  father's  children  as  his  own.  In 
all  Eastern  Asia  the  bonds  of  family  are  much  closer  than  among 
Caucasian  people  of  the  present  time.  All  the  kindred,  even  to 
the  fifteenth  or  twentieth  degree,  whatever  their  social  position, 
rich  or  poor,  educated  or  illiterate,  officials  or  beggars — form  a 
clan,  a  tribe,  or  more  exactly  one  single  family,  all  of  whose  mem- 
bers have  mutual  interests  to  sustain.  The  house  of  one  is  the 
house  of  the  other,  and  each  will  assist  to  his  utmost  another  of 
the  clan  to  get  money,  office,  or  advantage.  The  law  recognizes 
this  system  by  levying  on  the  clan  the  imposts  and  debts  whicb 
individuals  of  it  cannot  pay,  holding  the  sodality  responsible  for 
the  indivdual.  To  this  they  submit  without  complaint  or  protest 

CHILD  LIFE.  261 

Instead  of  the  family  being  a  unit,  as  in  the  west,  it  is  only 
th(i  fragment  of  a  clan,  a  segment  in  the  great  circle  of  kindred. 
The  number  of  terms  expressing  relationship  is  vastly  greater  and 
rniich  more  complex  than  in  English.  One  is  amazed  at  the  ex- 
uberance of  the  national  vocabulary  in  this  respect.  The  Coreans 
arc  fully  as  clannish  as  the  Chinese,  and  much  more  so  than  the 
Irish ;  and  in  this,  as  in  the  Middle  Kingdom,  lies  one  great 
obstacle  to  Christianity  or  to  any  kind  of  individual  reform.  Mar- 
riage cannot  take  place  between  two  persons  having  the  same 
family  cognomen.  There  are  in  the  kingdom  only  one  hundred 
and  forty  or  fifty  family,  or  rather  clan  names.  Yet  many  of  these 
names  are  widespread  through  the  realm.  All  are  formed  of  a 
single  Chinese  letter,  except  six  or  seven,  which  are  composed  of 
two  characters.  To  distinguish  the  different  families  who  bear  the 
same  patronymic,  they  add  the  name  which  they  call  the  pu,  or 
Gentile  name,  to  indicate  the  place  whence  the  family  originally 
came.  In  the  case  of  two  persons  wishing  to  marry,  if  this  pu  is 
the  same,  they  are  in  the  eyes  of  the  law  relatives,  and  marriage 
is  forbidden.  If  the  pu  of  each  is  different,  they  may  wed.  The 
most  common  names,  such  as  Kim  and  Ni — answering  to  our  Smith 
and  Jones — have  more  than  a  score  of  pu,  which  arise  from  more 
than  twenty  families,  the  place  of  whose  origin  is  in  each  case 
different.  The  family  name  is  never  used  alone.  It  is  always  fol- 
lowed by  a  surname ;  or  only  the  word  so-pang,  junior,  sang-wen, 
senior,  lord,  sir,  etc. 

Male  adults  usually  have  three  personal  names,  that  given  in 
childhood,  the  common  proper  name,  and  the  common  legal  name, 
wh:le  to  this  last  is  often  added  the  title.  Besides  these,  various 
aliases,  nicknames,  fanciful  and  punning  appellatives,  play  their 
part,  to  the  pleasure  or  vexation  of  their  object.  This  custom  is 
the  source  of  endless  confusion  in  documents  and  common  life. 
It  was  formerly  in  vogue  in  Japan,  but  was  abolished  by  the  mi- 
kado's government  in  1872,  and  now  spares  as  much  trouble  to 
tongue,  tpyes,  and  pens,  as  a  reform  in  our  alphabet  and  spelling 
would  save  the  English-speaking  world.  As  in  Nippon,  a  Corean 
fere  ale  has  but  one  name  from  the  cradle  to  the  grave.  The  titles 
"Madame,"  or  "Madame  widow,"  are  added  in  mature  life.  As 
in  old  Japan,  the  common  people  do  not,  as  a  rule,  have  distin- 
guishing individual  names,  and  among  them  nicknames  are  very 
con  imon.  Corean  etiquette  forbids  that  the  name  of  father,  mother, 
or  uncle  be  used  in  conversation,  or  even  pronounced  aloud. 



COREAN  architecture  is  in  a  very  primitive  condition.  The  cas* 
ties,  fortifications,  temples,  monasteries  and  public  buildings  can- 
not approach  in  magnificence  those  of  Japan  or  China.  The 
country,  though  boasting  hoary  antiquity,  has  few  ruins  in  stone. 
The  dwellings  are  tiled  or  thatched  houses,  almost  invariably  one 
story  high.  In  the  smaller  towns  these  are  not  arranged  in  regu- 
lar streets,  but  scattered  here  and  there.  Even  in  the  cities  and 
capital  the  streets  are  narrow  and  tortuous. 

In  the  rural  parts,  the  houses  of  the  wealthy  are  embosomed  in 
beautiful  groves,  with  gardens  surrounded  by  charming  hedges  or 
fences  of  rushes  or  split-bamboo.  The  cities  show  a  greater  display 
of  red-tiled  roofs,  as  only  the  officials  and  nobles  are  allowed  this 
sumptuary  honor.  Shingles  are  not  much  used.  The  thatching 
is  of  rice  or  barley  straw,  cut  close,  with  ample  eaves,  and  often 
finished  with  great  neatnesss. 

A  low  wall  of  uncemented  stone,  five  or  six  feet  high,  sur- 
rounds the  dwelling,  and  when  kept  in  repair  gives  an  air  of  neat- 
ness and  imposing  solidity  to  the  estate.  Often  a  pretty  rampart 
of  flat  bamboo  or  rushes,  plaited  in  the  herring-bone  pattern,  sur- 
mounts the  wall,  which  may  be  of  pebbles  or  stratified  rock  and 
mortared.  Sometimes  the  rampart  is  of  wattle,  covered  with 
smooth  white  plaster,  which,  with  the  gateway,  is  also  surmounted 
by  an  arched  roofing  of  tiles.  Instead  of  regular  slanting  lines  of 
gables,  one  meets  with  the  curved  and  pagoda-like  roofs  seen  in 
China,  with  a  heavy  central  ridge  and  projecting  ornaments  of 
fire-hardened  clay,  like  the  "  stirrup  "  or  "  devil "  tiles  of  Japan. 
These  curves  greatly  add  to  the  beauty  of  a  Corean  house,  because 
they  break  the  monotony  of  the  lines  of  Corean  architecture. 

Doors,  windows,  and  lintels  are  usually  rectangular,  and  are 
set  in  regularly,  instead  of  being  made  odd  to  relieve  the  eye,  as 
in  Japan.  Bamboo  is  a  common  material  for  window-frames. 


The  foundations  are  laid  on  stone  set  in  the  earth,  and  the 
flcor  of  the  humble  is  part  of  the  naked  planet.  People  one 
grade  above  the  poorest  cover  the  hard  ground  with  sheets  of 
oiled  paper,  which  serve  as  rugs  or  a  carpet.  For  the  better  class 
a  iloor  of  wood  is  raised  a  foot  or  so  above  the  earth,  but  in  the 
sleeping-,  and  sitting-room  of  the  average  family,  the  "kang" 
forms  a  vaulted  floor,  bed,  and  stove. 

The  kang  is  characteristic  of  the  human  dwelling  in  north- 
eastern Asia.  It  is  a  kind  of  tubular  oven,  in  which  human 
beings,  instead  of  potatoes,  are  baked.  It  is  as  though  we  should 
m  ike  a  bedstead  of  bricks,  and  put  foot-stoves  under  it.  The  floor 
is  bricked  over,  or  built  of  stone  over  flues,  which  run  from  the 
fireplace,  at  one  end  of  the  house,  to  the  chimney  at  the  other. 
The  fire  which  boils  the  pot  or  roasts  the  meat  is  thus  utilized  to 
wr.rm  those  sitting  or  sleeping  in  the  room  beyond.  The  difficulty 
is  to  keep  up  a  regular  heat  without  being  alternately  chilled  or 
smothered.  With  wood  fuel  this  is  almost  impossible,  but  by 
dint  of  tact  and  regulated  draught  may  be  accomplished.  As  in 
the  Swedish  porcelain  stove,  a  pail  of  live  coals  keeps  up  a  good 
warmth  all  night.  The  kangs  survive  in  the  kotatsu  of  Japan. 

The  "fire"  in  sentiment  and  fact  is  the  centre  of  the  Corean 
home,  and  the  native  phrase,  "he  has  put  out  his  fire,"  is  the  dire 
synonym  denoting  that  a  man  is  not  only  cold  and  fasting,  but  in 
w*.nt  of  the  necessities  of  life. 

Bed-clothes  are  of  silk,  wadded  cotton,  thick  paper,  and  tiger, 
wolf,  or  dog  skins,  the  latter  often  sewn  in  large  sheets  like  a  car- 
pet. Comfort,  cleanliness,  and  luxury  make  the  l?ed  of  the  noble 
OD  the  warm  brick  in  winter,  or  cool  matting  in  summer;  but 
with  the  poor,  the  cold  of  winter,  and  insects  of  summer,  with  the 
dirt  and  rags,  make  sleeping  in  a  Corean  hut  a  hardship.  Cush- 
ions or  bags  of  rice-chaff  form  the  pillows  of  the  rich.  The  poor 
mm  uses  a  smooth  log  of  wood  or  slightly  raised  portion  of  the 
floor  to  rest  his  head  upon.  "Weariness  can  snore  upon  the  flint 
when  resty  sloth  finds  the  down  pillow  hard." 

Three  rooms  are  the  rule  in  an  average  house.  These  are  for 
cooking,  eating,  and  sleeping.  In  the  kitchen  the  most  noticeable 
articles  are  the  ang-pak,  or  large  earthen  jars,  for  holding  rice, 
b&rley,  or  water.  Each  of  them  is  big  enough  to  hold  a  man 
easily.  The  second  room,  containing  the  kang,  is  the  sleeping 
apartment,  and  the  next  is  the  best  room  or  parlor.  Little  furni- 
tu  re  is  the  rule.  Coreans,  like  the  Japanese,  sit,  not  cross-legged, 


but  on  their  heels.  Among  the  well-to-do,  dog-skins,  or  kat-tei, 
cover  the  floor  for  a  carpet,  or  splendid  tiger-skins  serve"  as  rugs. 
Matting  is  common,  the  best  being  in  the  south. 

As  in  Japan,  the  meals  are  served  on  the  floor  on  low  sang,  or 
little  tables,  one  for  each  guest,  sometimes  one  for  a  couple.  The 
best  table  service  is  of  porcelain,  and  the  ordinary  sort  of  earthen- 
ware with  white  metal  or  copper  utensils.  The  table-cloths  are  of 
fine  glazed  paper  and  resemble  oiled  silk.  No  knives  or  forks  are 
used ;  instead,  chopsticks,  laid  in  paper  cases,  and,  what  is  more 
common  than  in  China  or  Japan,  spoons  are  used  at  every  meal. 

Table  Spread  for  Festal  Occasions. 

The  climax  of  sesthetic  taste  occurs  when  a  set  of  historic  porce- 
lain and  faience  of  old  Corean  manufacture  and  decoration,  with 
the  tall  and  long-spouted  teapot,  are  placed  on  the  pearl-inlaid 
table  and  filled  with  native  delicacies. 

The  walls  range  in  quality  of  decoration  from  plain  mud  to  col- 
ored plaster  and  paper.  The  Corean  wall-paper  is  of  all  grades, 
sometimes  as  soft  as  silk,  or  as  thick  as  canvas.  Sa-peik  is  a  favor- 
ite reddish  earth  or  mortar  which  serves  to  rough-cast  in  rich 
color  tones  the  walls  of  a  room. 

Pictures  are  not  common  ;  the  artistic  sense  being  satisfied 


with  scrolls  of  handsome  Chinese  characters  containing  moral 
and  literary  gems  from  the  classics,  or  the  caligraphic  triumph  of 
some  king,  dignitary,  or  literary  friend.  To  possess  a  sign-manual 
01-  autograph  scrap  of  Yung,  Hong,  or  O,  the  three  most  renowned 
men  of  Cho-sen,  is  reckoned  more  than  a  golden  manuscript  on 
aiure  paper. 

The  windows  are  square  and  latticed  without  or  within,  and 
covered  with  tough  paper,  either  oiled  or  unsized,  and  moving  in 
grooves — the  originals  of  the  Japanese  sliding-doors  and  win- 
dows. In  every  part  of  a  Corean  house,  paper  plays  an  important 
and  useful  part. 

Very  fine  Venetian  blinds  are  made  of  threads  split  from  the 
ever-useful  bamboo,  which  secures  considerable  variety  in  window 
decoration.  The  doors  are  of  wood,  paper,  or  plaited  bamboo. 
Glass  was,  till  recently,  a  nearly  unknown  luxury  in  Corea  among 
tb  e  common  people.  Even  with  the  nobles,  it  is  rather  a  curiosity. 
The  windows  being  made  of  oiled  or  thin  paper,  glass  is  not  a  ne- 
cessity. This  fact  will  explain  the  eagerness  of  the  people  to  pos- 
sess specimens  of  this  transparent  novelty.  Even  old  porter  and 
ale  bottles,  which  sailors  have  thrown  away,  are  eagerly  picked  up, 
b(  gged,  bought,  or  stolen.  An  old  medicine-vial,  among  the  Co- 
re ans,  used  to  fetch  the  price  of  a  crystal  goblet  among  us.  The 
possessor  of  such  a  prize  as  a  Bass'  ale  bottle  will  exhibit  it  to  his 
neighbor  as  a  rare  curio  from  the  Western  barbarians,  just  as  an 
American  virtuoso  shows  off  his  last  new  Satsuma  vase  or  box  of 
Soochow  lacquer.  When  English  ship  captains,  visiting  the  coast, 
gave  the  Coreans  a  bottle  of  wine,  the  bottle,  after  being  emptied, 
was  always  carefully  returned  with  extreme  politeness  as  an  article 
of  great  value.  The  first  Corean  visitor  to  the  American  expedi- 
tion of  1871,  went  into  ecstacies,  and  his  face  budded  into  smiles 
hitherto  thought  impossible  to  the  grim  Corean  visage,  because 
the  cook  gave  him  an  arm-load  of  empty  ale-bottles.  The  height 
of  domestic  felicity  is  reached  when  a  Corean  householder  can 
get  a  morsel  of  glass  to  fasten  into  his  window  or  sli ding-door, 
acd  thus  gaze  on  the  outer  world  through  this  "  loophole  of  re- 
troat."  This  not  only  saves  him  from  the  disagreeable  necessity 
of  punching  a  finger-hole  through  the  paper  to  satisfy  his  curi- 
osity, but  gives  him  the  advantage  of  not  being  seen,  and  of  keep- 
ing out  the  draft.  When  a  whole  pane  has  been  secured,  it  is 
hrrd  to  state  whether  happiness  or  pride  reigns  uppermost  in  the 
oT/ner's  bosom. 

266  COREA. 

Candlesticks  are  either  tall  and  upright,  resting  on  the  floor 
in  the  Japanese  style,  or  dish-lamps  of  common  oil  are  used. 

Mint  and  steel  are  used  to  ignite  matches  made  of  chips  of 
wood  dipped  in  sulphur,  by  which  a  "  fire-flower "  is  made  to 
blossom,  or  in  more  prosaic  English,  a  flame  is  kindled.  Phos- 
phorus  matches,  imported  from  Japan,  are  called  by  a  word  signi- 
fying ' '  fire-sprite, "  "  will-of -the-wisp, ' '  or  ignis-fatuus. 

Usually  in  a  gentlemen's  house  there  is  an  ante-room  or  vesti- 
bule, in  which  neighbors  and  visitors  sit  and  talk,  smoke  or  drink. 
In  this  place  much  freedom  is  allowed  and  formalities  are  laid 
aside.  Here  are  the  facilities  and  the  atmosphere  which  in  West- 
ern lands  are  found  in  clubs,  coffee-  and  ale-houses,  or  obtained 
from  newspapers.  One  such,  of  which  the  picture  is  before  us, 
has  in  it  seats,  and  looks  out  on  a  garden  or  courtyard.  On  a 
ledge  or  window-seat  are  vases  of  blossoms  and  cut  flowers;  a 
smaller  vase  holds  fans,  and  another  is  presumably  full  of  to- 
bacco or  some  other  luxury.  Short  eave-curtains  and  longer  dra- 
pery at  the  side,  give  an  air  of  inviting  comfort  to  these  free 
and  easy  quarters,  where  news  and  gossip  are  exchanged.  These 
oi-tiang,  or  outer  apartments,  are  for  strangers  and  men  only, 
and  women  are  never  expected  or  allowed  to  be  present. 

The  Ching-ja  is  a  small  house  or  room  on  the  bank  of  a  river, 
or  overlooking  some  bit  of  natural  scenery,  to  which  picnic  par- 
ties resort,  the  Coreans  most  heartily  enjoying  out-door  festivity, 
in  places  which  sky,  water,  and  foliage  make  beautiful  to  tne  eye. 

There  are  often  inscribed  on  the  portals,  in  large  Chinese 
characters,  moral  mottoes  or  poetical  sentiments,  such  as  "Enter 
happiness,  like  breezes  bring  the  spring,  and  depart  evil  spirit  as 
snow  melts  in  water."  Before  a  new  house  is  finished,  a  sheet  of 
pure  white  paper,  in  which  are  enclosed  some  nip,  or  "cash,"  with 
grains  of  rice  which  have  been  steeped  in  wine,  is  nailed  or 
fastened  on  the  wall,  over  the  door,  and  becomes  the  good  spirit 
or  genius  of  the  house,  sacrifices  being  duly  offered  to  it.  In 
more  senses  than  one,  the  spirit  that  presides  over  too  many  Co- 
rean  households  is  the  alcohol  spirit. 

The  Corean  liquor,  by  preference,  is  brewed  or  distilled  from 
rice,  millet,  or  barley.  These  alcoholic  drinks  are  of  various 
strength,  color,  and  smell,  ranging  from  beer  to  brandy.  In  gen- 
eral their  beverages  are  sufliciently  smoky,  oily,  and  alcoholic  to 
Western  tastes,  as  the  fusel-oil  usually  remains  even  in  the  best 
products  of  their  stills.  No  trait  of  the  Coreans  has  more  im- 


pressed  their  numerous  visitors,  from  Hamel  to  the  Americans, 
than  their  love  of  all  kinds  of  strong  drink,  from  ale  to  whiskey. 
The  common  verdict  is,  "They  are  greatly  addicted  to  the  wor- 
ship of  Bacchus."  The  Corean  vocabulary  bears  ample  witness  to; 
the  thorough  acquaintance  of  the  people  with  the  liquor  made 
from  grain  by  their  rude  processes.  The  inhabitants  of  the 
peninsula  were  hard  drinkers  even  in  the  days  of  Fuyu  and  Koko- 
rai.  No  sooner  were  the  ports  of  modern  Cho-sen  open  to  com- 
merce than  the  Chinese  established  liquor-stores,  while  European 
wines,  brandies,  whiskeys,  and  gins  have  entered  to  vary  the  Co- 
rean's  liquid  diet  and  increase  the  national  drunkenness. 

Strange  as  it  may  seem,  the  peasant,  though  living  between  the 
two  great  tea-producing  countries  of  the  world — Japan  and  China — • 
and  in  the  latitude  of  tea-plantations,  scarcely  knows  the  taste  oi 
tea,  and  the  fragrant  herb  is  as  little  used  as  is  coffee  in  Japan. 
The  most  common  drink,  after  what  the  clouds  directly  furnish,  is , 
the  water  in  which  rice  has  been  boiled.  Infusions  of  dried  gin- 
seng, orange-peel,  or  ginger  serve  for  festal  purposes,  and  honey 
when  these  fail ;  but  the  word  "  tea,"  or  cha,  serves  the  Corean,  as 
it  does  the  typical  Irishman,  for  a  variety  of  infusions  and  decoc- 
tions. With  elastic  charity  the  word  covers  a  multitude  of  sins, 
chiefly  of  omission  ;  all  that  custom  or  euphony  requires  is  to 
prefix  the  name  of  the  substance  used  to  "  cha  "  and  the  drink  is 
tea — of  some  kind. 

The  staple  diet  has  in  it  much  more  of  meat  and  fat  than  that 
of  the  Japanese.  The  latter  acknowledge  that  the  average  Coreau 
can  eat  twice  as  much  as  himself.  Beef,  pork,  fowls,  venison,  fish, 
an  I  game  are  consumed  without  much  waste  in  rejected  material. 
Nearly  everything  edible  about  an  animal  is  a  tidbit,  and  a  curi- 
ous piece  of  cookery,  symbolical  of  a  generous  feast,  is  often  found 
at  the  board  of  a  liberal  host.  This  tang-talk  (which  often  be- 
comes the  "town -talk")  is  a  chicken  baked  and  served  with  its 
festhers,  head,  claws,  and  inwards  intact.  "To  treat  to  an  entire 
fowl"  is  said  of  a  liberal  host,  and  is  equivalent  to  "killing  the 
fatted  calf." 

Fish  are  often  eaten  raw  from  tail  to  head,  especially  if  small, 
with  only  a  little  seasoning.  Ho-hoi,  or  fish-bone  salad,  is  a  deli- 
ca<  y.  Dog-flesh  is  on  sale  among  the  common  butchers'  meats, 
and  the  Coreans  enjoy  it  as  our  Indians  do.  In  the  first  month  of 
the  year,  however,  owing  to  religious  scruples,  no  dog-meat  is 
eaten,  or  dishes  of  canine  origin  permitted. 

268  COREA. 

The  state  dinner,  given  to  the  Japanese  after  the  treaty,  con- 
sisted of  this  bill  of  fare  :  two-inch  squares  of  pastry,  made  of 
flour,  sugar,  and  oil ;  heaps  of  boiled  eggs ;  pudding  made  of 
flour,  sesame,  and  honey ;  dried  persimmons  ;  "  pine-seeds,"  honey- 
like  food  covered  with  roasted  rice  colored  red  and  white  ;  macca- 
roni  soup  with  fowl ;  boiled  legs  of  pork,  and  wine,  rice  or  millet 
spirit  with  everything.  It  is  customary  to  decorate  the  tables  on 
grand  occasions  with  artificial  flowers,  and  often  the  first  course 
is  intended  more  for  show  than  for  actual  eating.  For  instance, 
when  the  Japanese  party,  feasted  at  Seoul  in  1646,  first  sat  down 
to  the  table,  one  of  them  began  to  help  himself  to  fish,  of  which 
he  was  very  fond.  The  dish  seemed  to  contain  a  genuine  cooked 
carp  basted  with  sauce,  but,  to  the  embarrassment  of  the  hungry 
guest,  the  fish  would  not  move.  He  was  relieved  by  the  servant,  who 
told  him  that  it  was  put  on  the  table  only  for  show.  The  courses 
brought  on  later  contained  more  substantial  nourishment,  such  as 
fish,  flesh,  fowl,  vegetables,  soups,  cakes,  puddings  and  tea.  Judg- 
ing from  certain  words  in  the  language,  these  show-dishes  form  a 
regular  feature  at  the  opening  of  banquets.  The  women  cook  rice 
beautifully,  making  it  thoroughly  soft  by  steaming,  while  yet  re- 
taining the  perfect  shape  of  each  grain  by  itself.  Other  well- 
known  dishes  are  barley,  millet,  beans,  taro  (potato  cooked  in  a 
variety  of  ways),  lily-bulbs,  sea- weeds,  acorns,  dai-kon  (radishes), 
turnips,  and  potatoes.  Maccaroni  and  vermicelli  are  used  for  soups 
and  refreshing  lunches.  Apples,  pears,  plums,  grapes,  persimmons, 
and  various  kinds  of  berries  help  to  furnish  the  table,  though  the 
flavor  of  these  is  inferior  to  the  same  fruits  grown  in  our  gardens. 

All  kinds  of  condiments,  mustard,  vinegar,  pepper,  and  a  va- 
riety of  home-made  sauces,  are  much  relished.  Itinerant  food- 
sellers  are  not  so  common  as  in  China,  but  butcher-shops  and 
vermicelli  stands  are  numerous.  Two  solid  meals,  with  a  light 
breakfast,  is  the  rule.  Opan,  or  midday  rice,  is  the  dinner.  Tai- 
sik  is  a  regular  meal.  The  appearance  of  the  evening  star  is  the 
signal  for  a  hearty  supper,  and  the  planet  a  synonym  for  the  last 
meal  of  the  day.  At  wakes  or  funeral  feasts,  and  on  festal  days, 
the  amount  of  victuals  consumed  is  enormous,  while  a  very  palata- 
ble way  of  remembering  the  dead  is  by  the  yum-pok,  or  drinking 
of  sacrificial  wine.  The  Coreans  understand  the  preservative  vir- 
tues of  ice,  and  in  winter  large  quantities  of  this  substance  are 
cut  and  stored  away  for  use  in  the  summer,  in  keeping  fresh  meat 
and  fish.  Their  ice-houses  are  made  by  excavating  the  ground 


and  covering  over  the  store  with  earth  and  sod,  from  which  in  hot 
weather  they  use  as  may  be  necessary.  These  ice  stores  are  often 
under  the  direction  of  the  government,  especially  when  large 
quantities  of  fish  are  being  preserved  for  rations  of  the  army  in 
time  of  war.  Those  who  oversee  the  work  are  called  "  Officers  of 
tie  Refrigerator." 

One  striking  fault  of  the  Coreans  at  the  table  is  their 
veracity,  and  to  this  trait  of  their  character  Japanese,  French, 
Batch,  and  Chinese  bear  witness.  It  might  be  supposed  that  a 
Frenchman,  who  eats  lightly,  might  make  a  criticism  where  an 
Englishman  would  be  silent ;  but  not  so.  All  reports  concerning 
them  seem  to  agree.  In  this  respect  there  is  not  the  least  differ- 
er  ce  between  the  rich  and  poor,  noble  or  plebeian.  To  eat  much 
is  an  honor,  and  the  merit  of  a  feast  consists  not  in  the  quality 
but  in  the  quantity  of  the  food  served.  Little  talking  is  done 
while  eating,  for  each  sentence  might  lose  a  mouthful.  Hence, 
since  a  capacious  stomach  is  a  high  accomplishment,  it  is  the  aim 
from  infancy  to  develop  a  belly  having  all  possible  elasticity. 
Often  the  mothers  take  their  babies  upon  their  knees,  and  after 
stuffing  them  with  rice,  like  a  wad  in  a  gun,  will  tap  them  from 
time  to  time  with  the  paddle  of  a  ladle  on  the  stomach,  to  see 
that  it  is  fully  spread  out  or  rammed  home,  and  only  cease  gorg- 
ing when  it  is  physically  impossible  for  the  child  to  swell  up 
more.  A  Corean  is  always  ready  to  eat;  he  attacks  whatever  he 
moets  with,  and  rarely  says,  "  Enough."  Even  between  meals,  he 
will  help  himself  to  any  edible  that  is  offered.  The  ordinary 
portion  of  a  laborer  is  about  a  quart  of  rice,  which  when  cooked 
makes  a  good  bulk.  This,  however,  is  no  serious  hindrance  to  his 
devouring  double  or  treble  the  quantity  when  he  can  get  it.  Eat- 
ing matches  are  common.  When  an  ox  is  slaughtered,  and  the 
beef  is  served  up,  a  heaping  bowl  of  the  steaming  mess  does  not 
abrm  any  guest.  Dog-meat  is  a  common  article  of  food,  and  the 
canine  sirloins  served  up  in  great  trenchers  are  laid  before  the 
guests,  each  one  having  his  own  small  table  to  himself.  When 
friits,  such  as  peaches  or  small  melons,  are  served,  they  are 
devoured  without  peeling.  Twenty  or  thirty  peaches  is  considered 
an  ordinary  allowance,  which  rapidly  disappears.  Such  a  prodi- 
gality in  victuals  is,  however,  not  common,  and  for  one  feast  there 
an  many  fastings.  Beef  is  not  an  article  of  daily  food  with  the 
peasantry.  Its  use  is  regulated  by  law,  the  butcher  being  a  sort 
of  government  official ;  and  only  under  extraordinary  circum- 

270  COREA. 

stances,  as  when  a  grand  festival  is  to  be  held,  does  the  king  allow 
an  ox  to  be  killed  in  each  village:  The  Coreans  are  neither  fas- 
tidious in  their  eating  nor  painstaking  in  their  cooking.  Nothing 
goes  to  waste.  All  is  grist  that  comes  to  the  mill  in  their  mouths. 

They  equal  Japanese  in  devouring  raw  fish,  and  uncooked 
food  of  all  kinds  is  swallowed  without  a  wry  face.  Even  the 
intestines  pass  among  them  for  delicate  viands.  Among  the 
poorer  classes,  a  cooked  fish  is  rarely  seen  on  the  table  ;  for  no 
sooner  is  it  caught  than  it  is  immediately  opened  and  devoured. 
The  raw  viands  are  usually  eaten  with  a  strong  seasoning  of  pep- 
per or  mustard,  but  they  are  often  swallowed  without  condiment 
of  any  sort.  Often  in  passing  along  the  banks  of  a  river,  one  may 
see  men  fishing  with  rod  and  line.  Of  these  some  are  nobles  who 
are  not  able,  or  who  never  wish  to  work  for  a  living,  yet  they  will 
fish  for  food  and  sport.  Instead  of  a  bag  or  basket  to  contain  the 
game,  or  a  needle  to  string  it  upon,  each  fisher  has  at  his  side 
a  jar  of  diluted  pepper,  or  a  kind  of  soy.  No  sooner  is  a  fish 
hooked,  than  he  is  drawn  out,  seized  between  the  two  fingers, 
dipped  into  the  sauce,  and  eaten  without  ceremony.  Bones  do  not 
scare  them.  These  they  eat,  as  they  do  the  small  bones  of  fowls. 

Nationally,  and  individually,  the  Coreans  are  very  deficient  in 
conveniences  for  the  toilet.  Bath-tubs  are  rare,  and  except  in  the 
warmer  days  of  summer,  when  the  river  and  sea  serve  for  immer- 
sion, the  natives  are  not  usually  found  under  water.  The  Japa- 
nese in  the  treaty  expedition  in  1876  had  to  send  bath-tubs  on 
shore  from  their  ships.  Morning  ablutions  are  made  in  a  copper 
basin.  The  sponges  which  grow  on  the  west  coast  seem  to  find 
no  market  at  home.  This  neglect  of  more  intimate  acquaintance 
with  water  often  makes  the  lowest  classes  "  look  like  mulattos," 
as  Hamel  said.  Gutzlaff,  Adams,  and  others,  especially  the  Japa- 
nese, have  noted  this  personal  defect,  and  have  suggested  the 
need  of  soap  and  hot  water.  It  may  be  that  the  contrast  between 
costume  and  cuticle  tempts  to  exaggeration.  People  who  dress 
in  white  clothing  have  special  need  of  personal  cleanliness.  Per- 
haps soap  factories  will  come  in  the  future. 

The  men  are  very  proud  of  their  beards,  and  the  elders  very 
particular  in  keeping  them  white  and  clean.  The  lords  of  crea- 
tion honor  their  beard  as  the  distinctive  glory  and  mark  of  their 
sex.  A  man  is  in  misery  if  he  has  only  just  enough  beard  to 
distinguish  him  from  a  woman.  A  full  crop  of  hair  on  cheek  and 
chin  insures  to  its  possessor  unlimited  admiration,  while  in  Co- 


rean  billingsgate  there  are  numerous  terms  of  opprobrium  for  a 
short  beard.  Europeans  are  contemptuously  termed  "short- 
ly airs" — with  no  suspicion  of  the  use  of  the  word  in  New  York 
local  politics.  Old  gentlemen  keep  a  little  bag  in  which  they 
assiduously  collect  the  combings  of  their  hair,  the  strokings  of 
tlieir  beard  and  parings  of  their  nails,  in  order  that  all  that  be- 
longs to  them  may  be  duly  placed  in  their  coffin  at  death. 

The  human  hair  crop  is  an  important  item  in  trade  with 
China,  to  which  country  it  is  imported  and  sold  to  piece  out  the 
hair-tails  which  the  Chinese,  in  obedience  to  their  Manchiu  con- 
querors, persist  in  wearing.  Some  of  this  hair  comes  from  poor 
women,  but  the  staple  product  is  from  the  heads  of  boys  who 
wear  their  hair  parted  in  the  middle,  and  plaited  in  a  long  braid, 
which  hangs  down  their  backs.  At  marriage,  they  cut  this  off, 
and  bind  what  remains  in  a  tight,  round  knot  on  the  top  of  the 
soalp,  using  pins  or  not  as  they  please. 

The  court  pages  and  pretty  boys  who  attend  the  magnates, 
usually  rosy-cheeked,  well  fed,  and  effeminate  looking  youths,  do 
not  give  any  certain  indication  of  their  sex,  and  foreigners  are 
often  puzzled  to  know  whether  they  are  male  or  female.  Their 
beardless  faces  and  long  hair  are  set  down  as  belonging  to  women. 
Most  navigators  have  made  this  mistake  in  gender,  and  when  the 
first  embassy  from  Seoul  landed  in  Yokohama,  the  controversy, 
and  perhaps  the  betting,  as  to  the  sex  of  these  nondescripts  was 
v^ry  lively.  Captain  Broughton  declared  that  the  whole  duty  of 
these  pages  seemed  to  be  to  smooth  out  the  silk  dresses  of  the 
grandees.  Officials  and  nobles  cover  their  top-knots  with  neat 
black  nets  of  horse-hair  or  glazed  thread.  Often  country  and 
town  people  wear  a  fillet  or  white  band  of  bark  or  leaves  across 
the  forehead  to  keep  the  loose  hair  in  order,  as  the  ancient  Japa- 
nese used  to  do.  Women  coil  their  glossy  black  tresses  into 
massive  knots,  and  fasten  them  with  pins  or  golden,  silver,  and 
brass  rings.  The  heads  of  the  pins  are  generally  shaped  like  a 
dragon.  They  oil  their  hair,  using  a  sort  of  vegetable  pomatum. 
A'nong  the  court  ladies  and  female  musicians  the  styles  of 
cc  iffure  are  various  ;  some  being  very  pretty,  with  loops,  bands, 
w.wes,  and  "bangs,"  as  the  illustration  on  page  161  shows. 

Corea  is  decidedly  the  land  of  big  hats.  From  their  amplitude 
these  head-coverings  might  well  be  called  "roofs,"  or,  at  least, 
"  imbrellas."  Their  diameter  is  so  great  that  the  human  head 
ei- cased  in  one  of  them  seems  but  as  a  hub  in  a  cart-wheel.  They 

272  COREA. 

would  probably  serve  admirably  as  parachutes  in  leaping  from  a 
high  place.  Under  his  wide-spreading  official  hat  a  magistrate 
can  shelter  his  wife  and  family.  It  serves  as  a  numeral,  since  a 
company  is  counted  by  hats,  instead  of  heads  or  noses.  How  the 
Corean  dignitary  can  weather  a  gale  remains  a  mystery,  and,  per- 
haps, the  feat  is  impossible  and  rarely  attempted.  A  slim  man  is 
evidently  at  a  disadvantage  in  a  "Japanese  wind"  or  typhoon. 
The  personal  avoirdupois,  which  is  so  much  admired  in  the  penin- 
sula, becomes  very  useful  as  ballast  to  the  head-sail.  Corean 
magnates,  cast  away  at  sea,  would  not  lack  material  for  ship's  can- 
vas. In  shape,  the  gentleman's  hat  resembles  a  flower-pot  set  on 
a  round  table,  or  a  tumbler  on  a  Chinese  gong.  Two  feet  is  a 
common  diameter,  thus  making  a  periphery  of  six  feet.  The  top 
or  cone,  which  rises  nine  inches  higher,  is  only  three  inches 
wide.  This  chimney-like  superstructure  serves  as  ornament  and 
ventilator.  Its  purpose  is  not  to  encase  the  head,  for  underneath 
the  brim  is  a  tight-fitting  skull-cap,  which  rests  on  the  head  and 
is  held  on  by  padded  ties  under  the  ears.  The  average  rim  for 
ordinary  people,  however,  is  about  six  inches  in  radius.  The 
huge  umbrella-hat  of  bleached  bamboo  is  worn  by  gentlemen  in 
mourning.  After  death  it  is  solemnly  placed  on  the  bier,  and 
forms  a  conspicuous  object  at  the  funeral.  The  native  name  for 
hat  is  kat  or  kat-si. 

The  usual  material  is  bamboo,  split  to  the  fineness  of  a  thread, 
and  woven  so  as  to  resemble  horse-hair.  The  fabric  is  then  var- 
nished or  lacquered,  and  becomes  perfectly  weather-proof,  resisting 
sun  and  rain,  but  not  wind.  The  prevalence  of  cotton  clothing, 
easily  soaked  and  rendered  uncomfortable,  requires  the  ample  pro- 
tection for  the  back  and  shoulders,  which  these  umbrella-like 
hats  furnish.  In  heavy  rain,  the  kat-no  is  worn,  that  is,  a  cone 
of  oiled  paper,  fixed  on  the  hat  in  the  shape  of  a  funnel.  Indeed, 
the  umbrella  in  Corea  is  rather  for  a  symbol  of  state  and  dignity 
than  for  vulgar  use,  and  is  often  adorned  with  knobs  and  strips. 
Quelpart  Island  is  the  home  of  the  hatters,  whose  fashionable 
wares  supply  the  dandies  and  dignitaries  of  the  capital  and  of  the 
peninsula.  The  highest  officers  of  the  government  have  the  cone 
truncated  or  rounded  at  the  vertex,  and  surmounted  by  a  little 
figure  of  a  crane  in  polished  silver,  very  handsome  and  durable. 
This  long-legged  bird  is  a  symbol  of  civil  office.  "  To  confer  the 
hat,"  means  as  much  to  an  officer  high  in  favor  at  the  court  of 
Seoul  as  to  a  cardinal  in  the  Vatican,  only  the  color  is  black,  not 


Ted.  I;  isCorean  etiquette  to  keep  the  hat  on,  and  in  this  respect, 
as  well  as  in  their  broad  brims,  the  hermits  resemble  the  Quakers. 
Marriage  and  mourning  are  denoted  also  by  the  hat. 

A  variety  of  materials  is  employed  by  other  classes.  Soldiers 
weur  large  black  or  brown  felt  hats,  resembling  Mexican  som- 
breros, which  are  adorned  with  red  horse-hair  or  a  peacock's 
feather,  swung  on  a  swivel  button. 

Suspended  from  the  sides,  over  the  ears  and  around  the  neck, 
are  strings  of  round  balls  of  blue  porcelain,  cornelian,  amber,  or 
whfct  resembles  kauri  gum.  Sometimes  these  ornaments  are  tubu- 
lar, reminding  one  of  the  millinery  of  a  cardinal's  hat. 

For  the  common  people,  plaited  straw  or  rushes  of  varied 
shades  serve  for  summer,  while  in  winter  shaggy  caps  of  lynx, 
wolf,  bear,  or  deer-skin  are  common,-  made  into  Havelock,  Astrac- 
han,  Japanese,  and  other  shapes,  some  resembling  wash-bowls, 
some  being  fluted  or  fan-like,  winged,  sock-shaped,  or  made  like 
a  nightcap.  Variety  seems  to  be  the  fashion. 

The  head-dress  of  the  court  nobles  differs  from  that  of  the 
vulgar  as  much  as  the  Pope's  tiara  differs  from  a  cardinal's 
rubrum.  It  is  a  crown  or  helmet,  which,  eschewing  brim,  rises  in 
altitude  to  the  proportions  of  a  mitre.  Without  ear  strings  or 
necklaces  of  beads,  it  is  yet  highly  ornamental  One  of  these 
consists  of  a  cap,  with  a  sort  of  gable  at  the  top.  Another  has  six 
loft}-  curving  folds  or  volutes  set  in  it.  On  another  are  designs 
from  the  pa-kwa,  or  sixty-four  mystic  diagrams,  which  are  sup- 
pose d  to  be  sacred  symbols  of  the  Confucian  philosophy,  and  of 
which  fortune-tellers  make  great  use. 

The  wardrobe  of  the  gentry  consists  of  the  ceremonial  and  the 
hou^e  dress.  The  former,  as  a  rule,  is  of  fine  silk,  and  the  latter 
of  coarser  silk  or  cotton.  These  "  gorgeous  Corean  dresses  "  are 
of  pink,  blue,  and  other  rich  colors.  The  official  robe  is  a  long 
garment  like  a  wrapper,  with  loose,  baggy  sleeves.  This  is  em- 
broidered with  the  stork  or  phoenix  for  civil,  and  with  the  kirin, 
lion,  or  tiger  for  military  officers.  Buttons  are  unknown  and 
form  no  part  of  a  Corean' s  attire,  male  or  female,  thus  greatly  re- 
duci  ig  the  labor  of  the  wives  and  mothers  who  ply  the  needle, 
which  in  Corea  has  an  "ear"  instead  of  an  "eye."  Strings  and 
girdJes,  and  the  shifting  of  the  main  weight  of  the  clothing  to  the 
shoulders,  take  the  place  of  these  convenient,  but  fugitive,  ad- 
junc's  to  the  Western  costume.  There  are  few  tailors'  shops,  the 
worn  an  of  each  household  making  the  family  outfit 

274  COREA. 

Soldiers  in  full  dress  wear  a  sleeveless,  open  surcoat  i'or  dis- 
play. The  under  dress  of  both  sexes  is  a  short  jacket  with  tight 
sleeves,  which  for  men  reaches  to  the  thighs,  and  for  women  only 
to  the  waist,  and  a  pair  of  drawers  reaching  from  waist  to  ankle, 
a  little  loose  all  the  way  down  for  the  men,  and  tied  at  the  ankles, 
but  for  the  women  made  tight  and  not  tied.  The  females  wear  a 
petticoat  over  this  garment,  so  that  the  Coreans  say  they  dress  like 
Western  women,  and  foreign-made  hosiery  and  under-garments 
are  in  demand.  Although  they  have  a  variety  of  articles  of  ap- 
parel easily  distinguishable  to  the  native  eye,  yet  their  general 
style  of  costume  is  that  of  the  wrapper,  stiff,  wide,  and  inflated 
with  abundant  starch  in  summer,  but  clinging  and  baggy  in  win- 
ter. The  rule  is  tightness  and  economy  for  the  working,  ampli- 
tude and  richness  of  material  for  the  affluent,  classes.  The  women 
having  no  pockets  in  their  dresses,  wear  a  little  bag  suspended 
from  their  girdle.  This  is  worn  on  the  right  side,  attached  by 
cords.  These  contain  their  bits  of  jewelry,  scissors,  knife,  a  tiger's 
claw  for  luck,  perfume-bottle  or  sachet,  a  tiny  chess-board  in  gold 
or  silver,  etc.  Besides  the  rings  on  their  fingers  the  ladies  wear 
hair-pins  of  gold  ornamented  with  bulbs  or  figures  of  birds.  Many 
of  them  dust  pun,  or  white  powder,  on  their  faces,  and  employ 
various  other  cosmetics,  which  are  kept  in  their  kiong-tai,  or  mir- 
ror toilet-stands  ;  in  which  also  may  be  their  so-hak,  or  book  con- 
taining rules  of  politeness. 

The  general  type  of  costume  is  that  of  China  under  the  Ming 
dynasty.  To  a  Chinaman  a  Corean  looks  antiquated,  a  curiosity 
in  old  clothes ;  a  Japanese  at  a  little  distance,  in  the  twilight,  is 
reminded  of  ghosts,  or  the  snowy  heron  of  the  rice-fields,  while 
to  the  American  the  Corean  swell  seems  compounded  chiefly  of 
bed-clothes,  and  in  his  most  elaborate  costume  to  be  still  in  his 

Plenty  of  starch  in  summer,  and  no  stint  of  cotton  in  winter, 
are  the  needs  of  the  Corean.  His  white  dress  makes  his  com- 
plexion look  darker  than  it  really  is.  The  monotonous  dazzle  of 
bleached  garments  is  relieved  by  the  violet  robes  of  the  magis- 
trate, the  dark  blue  for  the  soldiers,  and  lighter  shades  of  that 
color  in  the  garb  of  the  middle  class  ;  the  blue  strip  which  edges 
the  coat  of  the  literary  graduates,  and  the  pink  and  azure  clothes 
of  the  children.  Less .  agreeable  is  the  nearness  which  dispels 
illusion.  The  costume,  which  seemed  snowy  at  a  distance,  is  seen 
to  be  dingy  and  dirty,  owing  to  an  entire  ignorance  of  soap. 



The  Corean  dress,  though  simpler  than  the  Chinese,  is  not 
entirely  devoid  of  ornament.  The  sashes  are  often  of  handsome 
blue  silk  or  brocaded  stuff.  The  official  girdles,  or  flat  belts  a  few 
inches  wide,  have  clasps  of  gold,  silver,  or  rhinoceros  horn,  and 
aro  decorated  with  polished  ornaments  of  gold  or  silver.  For 
magistrates  of  the  three  higher  ranks  these  belts  are  set  with  blue 
stones  ;  for  those  of  the  fourth  and  fifth  grade  with  white  stones, 
and  for  those  below  the  fifth  with  a  substance  resembling  horn. 
Common  girdles  are  of  cotton,  hemp  cloth,  or  rope. 

Fans  are  also  a  mark  of  rank,  being  made  of  various  materials, 

Gentlemen's  Garments  and   Dress  Patterns. 

especially  silk  or  cloth,  stretched  on  a  frame.  The  fan  is  an  in- 
Btnonent  of  etiquette.  To  hide  the  face  with  one  is  an  act  of 
politeness.  The  man  in  mourning  must  have  no  other  kind  than 
thai  in  which  the  pin  or  rivet  is  of  cow's  horn.  Oiled  paper  fans 
sene  a  variety  of  purposes.  In  another  kind,  the  ribs  of  the 
frame  are  bent  back  double.  The  finer  sort  for  the  nobility  are 
gorgeously  inlaid  with  pearl  or  nacre. 

A  kind  of  flat  wand  or  tablet,  seen  in  the  hands  of  nobles, 
ostensibly  to  set  down  orders  of  the  sovereign,  is  made  of  ivory 
for  officers  above,  and  of  wood  for  those  below  the  fourth  grade. 

276  COREA. 


Another  badge  of  office  is  the  little  wand,  half  way  between  a 
toy  whip  and  a  Mercury's  caduceus,  of  black  lacquered  wood,  with 
cords  of  green  silk.  This  is  carried  by  civil  officers,  and  may  be 
the  original  of  the  Japanese  baton  of  command,  made  of  lacquered 
wood  with  pendant  strips  of  paper. 

Canes  are  carried  by  men  of  the  literary  or  official  class  when 
in  mourning.  These  tall  staves,  which,  from  the  decks  of  Euro- 
pean vessels  sailing  along  the  coast,  have  often  looked  like  spears, 
are  the  sang-chang,  or  smooth  bamboo  staves,  expressive  of  cere- 
monial grief,  and  nothing  more. 

As  the  Coreans  have  no  pockets,  they  make  bags,  girdles,  and 
their  sleeves  serve  instead.  The  women  wear  a  sort  of  reticule 
hung  at  the  belt,  and  the  men  a  smoking  outfit,  consisting  of  an 
oval  bag  to  hold  his  flint  and  steel,  some  fine-cut  tobacco,  and  a 
long,  narrow  case  for  his  pipe. 

Foot-gear  is  either  of  native  or  of  Chinese  make.  The  laborer 
contents  himself  with  sandals  woven  from  rice-straw,  which  usu- 
ally last  but  a  few  days.  A  better  sort  is  of  hempen  twine  or  rope, 
with  many  strands  woven  over  the  top  of  the  foot.  A  man  in 
mourning  can  wear  but  four  cords  on  the  upper  part.  Socks  are 
too  expensive  for  the  poor,  except  in  the  winter.  Shoes  made  of 
cotton  are  often  seen  in  the  cities,  having  hempen  or  twine  soles. 
The  low  shoes  of  cloth,  or  velvet,  and  cowhide,  upturned  at  the 
toe,  worn  by  officials,  are  imported  from  China.  Small  feet  do 
not  seem  to  be  considered  a  beauty,  and  the  foot-binding  of  the 
I  Chinese  is  unknown  in  Cho-sen,  as  in  Japan. 



THE  fashion  of  mourning,  the  proper  place  and  time  to  shed 
toars  and  express  grief  according  to  regulations,  are  rigidly  pre- 
scribed in  an  official  treatise  or  "  Guide  to  Mourners,"  published 
by  the  government.  The  corpse  must  be  placed  in  a  coffin  of 
very  thick  wood,  and  preserved  during  many  months  in  a  special 
room  prepared  and  ornamented  for  this  purpose.  It  is  proper  to 
•vseep  only  in  this  death -chamber,  but  this  must  be  done  three  or 
four  times  daily.  Before  entering  it,  the  mourner  must  don  a 
special  weed,  which  consists  of  a  gray  cotton  frock  coat,  torn, 
pitched,  and  as  much  soiled  as  possible.  The  girdle  must  be  of 
twisted  straw  and  silk,  made  into  a  rope  of  the  thickness  of  the 
\rnst.  Another  cord,  the  thickness  of  the  thumb,  is  wound 
round  the  head,  which  is  covered  with  dirty  linen,  each  of  the 
rope's  ends  falling  upon  the  cheek.  A  special  kind  of  sandals 
is  worn,  and  a  big  knotty  stick  completes  the  costume  of  woe. 
In  the  prescribed  weeds  the  mourner  enters  the  death-chamber 
in  the  morning  on  rising,  and  before  each  meal.  He  carries  a  little 
tfuble  filled  with  food,  which  he  places  upon  a  tray  at  the  side  of 
the  coffin.  The  person  who  is  master  of  the  mourners  presides 
at;  the  ceremonies.  Prostrate,  and  struck  by  the  stick,  he  utters 
dolorous  groans,  sounding  "  ai-ko  "  if  for  a  parent.  For  other  rela- 
tives he  groans  out  "  oi,  oi."  According  to  the  noise  and  length 
o:f  the  groans  and  weeping,  so  will  the  good  opinion  of  the  public 
b  3.  The  lamentations  over,  the  mourner  retires,  doffs  the  mourn- 
ii  g  robes,  and  eats  his  food.  At  the  new  and  the  full  moon,  all 
the  relatives  are  invited  and  expected  to  assist  at  the  ceremonies. 
These  practices  continue  more  or  less  even  after  burial,  and  at 
ii  tervals  during  several  years.  Often  a  noble  will  go  out  to  weep 
and  kneel  at  the  tomb,  passing  a  day,  and  even  a  night,  in  this 
position.  In  some  instances,  mourners  have  built  a  little  house 

278  COBEA. 

before  the  grave,  and  watched  there  for  years,  thus  winning  a 
high  reputation  for  filial  piety. 

Among  the  poor,  who  have  not  the  means  to  provide  a  death- 
chamber  and  expensive  mourning,  the  coffin  is  kept  outside  their 
houses  covered  with  mats  until  the  time  of  sepulture. 

Though  cremation,  or  "burying  in  the  fire,"  is  known  in 
Cho-sen,  the  most  usual  form  of  disposing  of  the  dead  is  by 
inhumation.  Children  are  wrapped  up  in  the  clothes  and  bed- 
ding in  which  they  die,  and  are  thus  buried.  As  unmarried  per- 
sons are  reckoned  as  children,  their  shroud  and  burial  are  the 
same.  With  the  married  and  adult,  the  process  is  more  costly, 
and  the  ceremonial  more  detailed  and  prolonged.  This,  which  is 
described  very  fully  in  Koss'  "Corea,"  and  with  which  Hamel's 
curt  notes  agree,  consists  of  minute  ceremonial  and  mourning 
among  the  living  and  the  washing,  combing,  nail-paring,  robing, 
and  laying  out  in  state  of  the  dead,  with  calling  of  the  spirits, 
and  with  screens,  lights,  and  offerings,  according  to  Confucian 
ritual.  In  many  interesting  features,  the  most  ancient  rites  of 
China  have  survived  in  the  peninsula  after  they  have  become 
obsolete  in  the  former  country.  The  very  old  tombs  opened, 
and  the  painted  coffins,  coated  with  many  layers  of  silicious 
paint,  dug  up  near  Shanghai  recently,  are  much  like  those  of  the 

The  coffin,  which  fits  the  body,  is  made  air-tight  with  wax, 
resin,  or  varnish,  and  is  borne  on  a  bier  to  the  grave  by  men  who 
make  this  their  regular  business.  Often  there  are  two  coffins,  one 
inside  the  other.  Sons  follow  the  body  of  their  father  on  foot, 
relatives  ride  in  palanquins  or  on  horseback.  Prominent  at  the 
head  of  the  procession  is  the  red  standard  containing  the  titles 
and  honors  of  the  deceased.  This  banner,  or  sa-jen,  has  two  points 
on  it  to  frighten  away  the  spirits,  and  at  the  funeral  of  a  high 
officer,  a  man  wears  a  hideous  mask  for  the  same  purpose.  When 
there  are  no  titles,  only  the  name  of  the  deceased  is  inscribed 
upon  the  banner. 

The  selection  of  a  proper  site  for  a  tomb  is  a  matter  of  pro- 
found solicitude,  time,  and  money ;  for  the  geomancers  must  be 
consulted  with  a  fee.  The  pung-sui  superstition  requires  for  the 
comfort  of  both  living  and  dead  that  the  right  site  should  be 
chosen.  Judging  from  the  number  of  times  the  word  "moun- 
tain "  enters  into  terms  relating  to  burial,  most  interments  are 
on  the  hillsides.  If  these  are  not  done  properly,  trouble  will 


arise,  and  the  bones  must  then  be  dug  up,  collected,  and  re- 
buried,  often  at  heavy  expense.  Thousands  of  professional  cheats 
and  self-duped  people  live  by  working  upon  the  feelings  of  the 
bereaved  through  this  superstition. 

The  tombs  of  the  poor  consist  only  of  the  grave  and  a  low 
mound  of  earth.  These  mounds,  subjected  to  the  forces  of  na- 
ture, and  often  trampled  upon  by  cattle,  disappear  after  the  lapse 
of  a  few  years,  and  oblivion  settles  over  the  spot. 

With  the  richer  class  monuments  are  of  stone,  sometimes 
neat  or  even  imposing,  sometimes  grotesque.  Some,  as  the  pi- 
popi,  are  shaped  like  a  house  or  miniature  temple  ;  or,  two  stones, 
cut  in  the  form  of  a  ram  and  a  horse  respectively,  are  placed 
before  the  sepulchre.  The  man-tu,  "  gazing  headstone,"  consists 
of  two  monoliths  or  columns  of  masonry,  flanking  the  tomb 
on  either  side,  so  that  the  soul  of  the  dead,  changed  into  a  bird, 
may  repose  peacefully.  In  the  graveyards  are  many  tombs  paved 
with  granite  slabs  around  the  temple  model,  but  for  the  most 
part  a  Corean  cemetery  is  filled  with  little  obelisks,  or  tall,  square 
columns,  either  pointed  at  the  top  or  surmounted  with  the 
effigy  of  a  human  head,  or  a  rudely  sculptured  stone  image, 
which  strangely  reminds  a  foreigner  of  "  patience  on  a  monu- 
ment, smiling  at  grief."  This  apparition  of  a  human  head 
rising  above  the  tall  grass  of  the  burial-ground  may  be  the 
original  of  Japanese  pictures  of  the  ghosts  and  spirits  which  seem 
to  rise  dark  and  windblown  out  of  the.  wet  grass.  Often  the 
caning  in  Corean  grave-yards  is  so  rude  as  to  be  almost  indis- 

Mourning  is  of  many  degrees  and  lengths,  and  is  betokened 
by  dress,  abstinence  from  food  and  business,  visits  to  the  tomb, 
off* wrings,  tablets,  and  many  visible  indications,  detailed  even  to 
absurdity.  Pure,  or  nearly  pure  white  is  the  mourning  color,  as 
a  contrast  to  red,  the  color  of  rejoicing.  Even  the  rivets  of  the 
fan,  the  strings  on  the  shoes,  and  the  carrying  of  a  staff  in  addi- 
tio  i  to  the  mourning-hat,  betoken  the  uniform  of  woe. 

When  noblemen  don  the  peaked  hat,  which  covers  the  face  as 
we  1  as  the  head,  they  are  as  dead  to  the  world — not  to  be  spoken 
to,  molested,  or  even  arrested  if  charged  with  crime.  This  Corean 
mourning  hat  proved  "the  helmet  of  salvation"  to  Christians,  and 
explains  the  safety  of  the  French  missionaries  who  lived  so  long 
in  disguise,  unharmed  in  the  country  where  the  police  were  as 
lynxes  and  hounds  ever  on  their  tr«Mjk.  The  Jesuits  were  not 

280  COREA. 

slow  to  see  the  wonderful  shelter  promised  for  them,  and  availed 
themselves  of  it  at  once  and  always. 

The  royal  sepulchres  within  the  peninsula  have  attracted  more 
than  one  unlawful  descent  upon  the  shores  of  Cho-sen.  The 
various  dynasties  of  sovereigns  during  the  epoch  of  the  Three 
Kingdoms  in  the  old  capitals  of  these  states,  the  royal  lines  of 
Kokorai  at  Ping-an,  of  Korai  at  Sunto,  and  of  the  ruling  house  at 
Seoul,  have  made  Corea  during  her  two  thousand  years  of  history 
rich  in  royal  tombs.  These  are  in  various  parts  of  the  country, 
and  those  which  are  known  are  under  the  care  of  the  government. 

Are  these  mausoleums  filled  with  gold  or  jewels?  Foreign 
grave-robbers  have  believed  so,  and  shown  their  faith  by  their 
works,  as  we  shall  see.  French  priests  in  the  country  have  said 
so.  The  ancient  Chinese  narratives  descriptive  of  the  customs  of 
the  Fuyu  people,  confirm  the  general  impression.  Without  having 
the  facts  at  hand  to  demonstrate  what  eager  foreigners  have 
believed,  we  know  that  vast  treasures  have  been  spent  upon 
the  decoration  of  the  royal  sepulchres,  and  the  erection  of  me- 
morial buildings  over  them,  and  that  the  fear  of  their  violation 
by  foreign  or  native  outlaws  has  been  for  centuries  ever  be- 
fore the  Corean  people.  That  these  fears  have  too  often  been 
justified,  we  shall  find  when  we  read  of  that  memorable  year, 
A.D.  1866.  The  profuse  vocabulary  of  terms  relating  to  burial, 
mourning,  and  memorial  tablets  in  Corea  show  their  intense 
loyalty  to  the  Confucian  doctrines,  the  power  of  superstition, 
and  the  shocking  waste  of  the  resources  of  the  living  upon  the 

The  voluble  Corean  envoys  when  in  Tokio,  visited  the  Naval 
College,  and  on  learning  that  in  certain  emergencies  the  students 
from  distant  provinces  were  not  allowed  to  go  home  to  attend  the 
funeral  of  their  parents,  nor  to  absent  themselves  from  duty  on 
account  of  mourning,  were  amazed  beyond  measure,  and  for  a 
few  moments  literally  speechless  from  surprise.  It  is  hard  for  a 
Corean  to  understand  the  sayings  of  Jesus  to  the  disciple  who 
asked,  "Lord,  suffer  me  first  to  go  and  bury  my  father,"  and 
"  Let  the  dead  bury  their  dead." 

From  the  view-point  of  political  economy,  this  lavish  expense 
of  time,  energy,  money,  and  intellect  upon  corpses  and  super- 
stition is  beneficial.  Without  knowing  of  Malthus  or  his  theories, 
the  Cho-senese  have  hit  upon  a  capital  method  of  limiting  popu- 
lation, and  keeping  the  country  in  a  state  of  chronic  poverty. 


The  question  has  been  asked  the  writer,  "How  can  a  people,  pent 
n  a  little  mountainous  peninsula  like  Corea,  exist  for  centuries 
without  overpopulating  their  territory?" 

Wars,  famine,  pestilence,  ordinary  poverty  answer  the  question 
m  part.  The  absurd  and  rigorous  rules  of  mourning,  requiring 
frightful  expense,  postponement  of  marriage  to  young  people — 
H'ho  even  when  betrothed  must  mourn  three  years  for  parents  and 
^a-andparents,  actual  and  expected,  the  impoverishing  of  the  peo- 
ple, and  the  frequent  hindrances  to  marriage  at  the  proper  season, 
^erve  to  keep  down  population.  This  fact  is  an  often  chosen  sub- 
ject for  native  anecdotes  and  romances.  The  vexations  and  delays 
often  caused  by  the  long  periods  of  idle  mourning  required  by 
etiquette,  are  well  illustrated  by  the  following  story,  from  the 
<;Grammaire  Coreene,"  which  is  intended  to  show  the  sympathy 
cf  the  king  Cheng-chong  (1776  to  1800)  with  his  subjects.  It  is 
entitled  "  A  Trait  of  Eoyal  Solicitude." 

It  was  about  New  Year's  that  Cheng-chong  walked  about  here 
and  there  within  the  palace  enclosure.  Having  come  to  the  place 
reserved  for  the  candidates  at  the  literary  examinations,  he  looked 
through  a  crack  in  the  gate.  The  competitors  had  nearly  all  gone 
away  to  spend  the  New  Year  holidays  at  home,  and  there  re- 
mained only  two  of  them,  who  were  talking  together. 

"Well,  all  the  others  have  gone  off  to  spend  New  Year's  at 
home  ;  isn't  it  deplorable  that  we  two,  having  no  place  to  go  to, 
must  be  nailed  here?" 

"Yes,  truly,"  said  the  other;  "you  have  no  longer  either  wife, 
children,  or  house.  How  is  this  ?  " 

"  Listen  to  my  story,"  said  the  first  man.  "  My  parents, 
thinking  of  my  marriage,  had  arranged  my  betrothal,  but  some 
time  before  the  preparations  were  concluded,  my  future  grand- 
fither  died,  and  it  became  necessary  to  wait  three  years.  Hardly 
h  id  I  put  off  mourning,  when  I  was  called  on  to  lament  the  death 
of  my  poor  father.  I  was  now  compelled  to  wait  still  three  years. 
T  bese  three  years  finished,  behold  my  mother-in-law  who  was  to 
b'j  died,  and  three  years  passed  away.  Finally,  I  had  the  misfor- 
tune to  lose  my  poor  mother,  which  required  me  to  wait  again 
tlree  years.  And  so,  three  times  four — a  dozen  years — have 
el  ipsed,  during  which  we  have  waited  the  one  for  the  other.  By 
tils  time  she,  who  was  to  be  my  wife,  fell  ill.  As  she  was  upon 
the  point  of  death,  I  went  to  make  her  a  visit.  My  intended 
brother-in-law  came  to  see  me,  found  me,  and  said,  '  Although 



the  ceremonies  of  marriage  have  not  been  made,  they  may  cer* 
tainly  consider  you  as  married,  therefore  come  and  see  her.' 
Upon  his  invitation  I  entered  her  house,  but  we  had  hardly  blown 
a  puff  of  smoke,  one  before  the  other,  than  she  died. 

"Seeing  this,  I  have  no  more  wished  even  to  dream  at  night. 

Thatched   House  near  Seoul.      (From  a  photograph,   1876.) 

I  am  not  yet  married.     You  may  understand,  then,  why  I  have 
neither  wife,  children,  nor  home." 

In  his  turn  the  other  thus  spoke  :  "  My  house  was  extremely 
poor.  Our  diet  looked  like  fasting.  We  had  no  means  of  freeing 
ourselves  from  embarrassment.  When  the  day  of  the  examination 
came  I  presented  myself.  During  my  absence  my  wife  contrived 


in  such  a  manner,  that  putting  in  the  brazier  a  farthing's  worth 
of  charcoal,  she  set  a  handful  of  rice  to  cook  in  a  skillet,  and  set- 
tled herself  to  wait  for  me.  She  served  this  to  me  every  time  I 
cane  e  back.  But  I  never  obtained  a  degree.  The  day  on  which 
I  was  at  last  received  as  a  bachelor  of  arts,  on  returning  after 
examination,  I  found  that  she  had  as  before  lighted  the  charcoal, 
put  to  boil  a  dish  of  soup,  and  seating  herself  before  the  fire,  she 
wahed.  In  this  position  she  was  dead. 

•'  At  sight  of  this  my  grief  was  without  bounds.  Having  no 
desire  to  contract  a  new  union,  I  have  never  re-married." 

Hearing  these  narratives,  Cheng-chong  was  touched  with  pity. 
Entering  the  palace,  seating  himself  upon  the  throne,  and  having 
had  the  two  scholars  brought  in,  he  said  to  them  : 

'  All  the  other  scholars  have  gone  to  their  homes  to  spend 
New  Year's.  Why  have  not  you  two  gone  also?"  They  an- 
swered, "Your  servants  having  no  house  to  go  to,  remained 

'What  does  that  mean?"  said  Cheng-chong.  "The  fowls 
and  the  dogs,  oxen  and  horses  have  shelter.  The  birds  have  also 
a  hole  to  build  their  nests  in.  Can  it  be  that  men  have  no  dwell- 
ing ?  There  should  be  a  reason  for  this.  Speak  plainly."  One 
of  the  scholars  answered:  "Your  servant's  affairs  are  so-and-so. 
I  have  come  even  till  now  without  re-marriage.  It  is  because  I 
havt3  neither  wife,  child,  nor  family." 

The  story  being  exactly  like  that  which  he  had  heard  before, 
the  king  cried  out,  "  Too  bad ! " 

Then  addressing  the  other,  he  put  this  question  :  "And  you, 
how  is  it  that  you  are  reduced  to  this  condition  ?"  He  answered  . 
"  My  story  is  almost  the  same." 

'  What  do  you  wish  ?     Speak  !  "  replied  the  king. 
'  The  circumstances  being  such  and  such,  I  am  at  this  mo- 
meet  without  wife  and  without  food.     That  is  my  condition." 

.U  there  was  in  all  this  nothing  different  from  the  preceding, 
the  king,  struck  with  compassion,  bestowed  upon  them  imme- 
diately lucrative  offices. 

3f  he  had  not  examined  for  himself,  how  could  he  have  been 
able  to  know  such  unfortunate  men,  and  procure  for  them  so 
happy  a  position  in  the  world?  In  truth,  the  goodness  of  his 
Majesty  Cheng-chong  has  become  celebrated. 



Six  public  roads  of  the  first  class  traverse  the  peninsula  and 
centre  at  the  capital.  They  are  from  twenty  to  thirty  feet  in 
width,  with  ditches  at  the  side  for  drainage.  One  of  these  begins 
near  the  ocean,  in  Chulla  Do,  and  in  general  follows  the  shores  of 
the  Yellow  Sea  through  three  provinces  to  Tong-chin  opposite 
Kang-wa  Island,  and  enters  the  capital  by  branch  roads.  Another 
highway  passes  through  the  interior  of  the  three  provinces  bor- 
dering the  Yellow  Sea,  and  enters  Seoul  by  the  southern  gate. 
Hamel  and  his  fellow-captives  journeyed  by  this  road.  The  road 
by  which  the  annual  embassy  reaches  Peking,  after  leaving  the 
capital,  passes  through  Sunto  and  Ping -an  and  Ai-chiu,  crosses  the 
Neutral  Strip,  and  enters  Manchuria  for  Peking  by  way  of  Muk- 
den. This  was  the  beaten  track  of  the  French  missionaries,  and 
the  shipwrecked  men  from  the  United  States  and  Japan,  and  is 
the  military  road  from  China.  It  is  well  described,  with  a  good 
map,  in  Koei -Ling's  "Journal  of  a  Mission  into  Corea,"  which 
Mr.  F.  Scherzer  has  translated  for  us. 

From  Fusan  and  Tong-nai,  in  the  southeast,  Seoul  is  reached 
by  no  less  than  three  roads.  One  strikes  westward  through 
Chung-chong,  and  joins  the  main  road  coming  up  from  the  south. 
Another  following  the  Nak-tong  Eiver  basin,  crosses  the  moun- 
tains to  Chulla,  and  enters  Seoul  by  the  south  gate.  Eight  river 
crossings  must  be  made  by  this  road,  over  which  Konishi  marched 
in  1593.  The  third  route  takes  a  more  northerly  trend,  follows  the 
sea-coast  to  Urusan,  and  passing  through  Kion-chiu,  enters  the 
capital  by  the  east  gate. 

The  fifth  great  road  issuing  from  the  north  gate  of  the  capital 
passes  into  Kang-wen,  and  thence  upward  to  Gensan,  and  to  the 
frontiers  at  the  Tumen  Kiver. 

The  roads  of  the  second  class  are  eight  or  nine  feet  wide,  and 
without  side  ditches.  They  ramify  through  all  the  provinces,  but 


are  especially  numerous  in  the  five  southern.  The  three  northern 
circuits,  owing  to  their  mountainous  character,  are  but  poorly 
furnished  with  highways,  and  these  usually  follow  the  rivers. 

The  third  class  roads,  which  are  nothing  more  than  bridle- 
paths, or  trails,  connect  the  villages. 

The  hilly  nature  of  the  country,  together  with  the  Asiatic 
apr  thy  to  bestowing  much  care  on  the  public  highways,  makes 
travelling  difficult.  Inundations  are  frequent,  though  the  water 
subsides  quickly.  Hence  in  summer  the  road-beds  are  dust,  and 
in  winter  a  slough  of  mud.  Macadamized,  or  paved  roads,  are 
hardly  known,  except  for  short  lengths.  Few  of  the  wide  rivers 
are  bridged,  which  necessitates  frequent  fordings  and  ferriages. 
Stcne  bridges,  built  with  arches,  are  sometimes  seen  over  streams 
noi  usually  inundated,  but  few  of  the  wooden  bridges  are  over 
one;  hundred  and  eighty  feet  long. 

In  one  respect  the  roads  are  well  attended  to.  The  distances 
are  well  marked.  At  every  n  is  a  small,  and  at  every  three  ri  a 
lar^e  mound,  surmounted  with  an  inscribed  post  or  "  mile-stone," 
called  chang-sung.  They  are  two,  six,  and  even  ten  feet  in  length. 

In  ancient  times,  it  is  said,  there  was  a  man  named  Chang- 
sung,  who  killed  his  servant  and  wife.  When  punished,  his  head 
was  placed  on  a  small  mound.  Legend  even  declares  that  it  was 
successively  exposed  on  all  the  distance  mounds  in  the  kingdom. 
This  is  said  to  be  the  origin  of  the  bournes  or  distance-mounds, 
which  suggests,  as  Mr.  Adams  has  shown,  the  termini  of  the 
Romans.  When  of  stone,  they  are  called  pio-sek,  but  they  are 
often  of  wood,  rudely  carved  or  hacked  out  of  a  whole  tree  by  an 
axe-  into  the  exaggerated  form  of  a  man,  and  are  of  a  ludicrous 
or  absurd  appearance.  The  face  is  meant  to  be  that  of  the  mur- 
derer Chang-sung.  The  author  of  "  A  Forbidden  Land  "  mistook 
these  for  "village  idols,"  and  was  surprised  to  find  the  boys  in 
sone  cases  sacrilegiously  kicking  about  some  that  had  rotted 
do'vn  or  fallen.  The  "  gods  of  the  roads  "  may,  however,  have 
the  ir  effiges,  which  are  worshipped  or  profaned. 

All  distances  in  every  direction  are  measured  from  the  front 
gat  e  of  the  magistrates'  offices,  the  standard  of  all  being  the  palace 
at  Seoul.  Not  the  least  interesting  sights  to  the  traveller  are  the 
me  morial  stones  set  up  and  inscribed  with  a  view  to  commemo- 
rai  e  local  or  national  worthies,  or  the  events  of  war,  famine,  or 
ph  lanthropy.  The  Coreans  are  "idolaters  of  letters,"  and  the 
er(  ction  of  memorial  tablets  or  columns  occasionally  becomes  a 

286  COKEA. 

Sometimes  the  inscriptions  are  the  means  of  stirring  up 
patriotism,  as  the  following  inscription  shows.  It  was  graven  on 
a  stone  in  front  of  a  castle  erected  after  the  French  and  American 
expeditions,  and  was  copied  by  a  Japanese  correspondent. 

"It  is  nothing  else  than  selling  the  kingdom  into  slavery,  in 
order  to  avoid  war,  to  make  peace  without  fighting  when  any 
Western  nation  comes  to  attack  it  ;  such  should  never  be  done 
even  by  our  descendants  thousands  of  years  hence." 

In  this  country,  in  which  sumptuary  laws  prevent  the  humbler 
classes  from  travelling  on  horseback,  and  where  wagons  and 
steam-roads  are  unknown,  the  roads  are  lively  with  numerous 
foot-passengers.  Palanquins  are  used  by  the  better  classes  and 
the  wealthy.  The  rambling  life  of  many  of  the  people,  the  goodly 
numbers  of  that  character  not  unknown  in  Christendom  —  the 
tramp  —  the  necessities  of  trade,  literary  examinations,  government 
service,  and  holy  pilgrimages,  prevent  too  many  weeds  from  grow- 
ing in  the  highways.  In  travelling  over  the  high  roads  one  meets 
a  variety  of  characters  that  would  satisfy  a  Corean  Dickens,  or 
the  Japanese  author  who  wrote  the  Tokaido  Hizakurige  (Leg-hair, 
i.e.,  "  Shanks'  mare,"  on  the  East  Sea  Koad).  Bands  of  students 
on  their  way  to  the  capital  or  provincial  literary  examinations, 
some  roystering  youths  in  the  full  flow  of  spirits,  are  hastening 
on,  others,  gray-headed  and  solemn,  are  wending  their  way  to  fail 
for  the  twentieth  time.  Pompous  functionaries  in  umbrella-hats, 
on  horseback,  before  whom  ordinary  folks  dismount  or  kneel 
or  bow,  brush  past  with  noisy  attendants.  Pilgrims  in  pious  garb 
are  on  their  way  to  some  holy  mountain  or  famous  shrine,  men  to 
pray  for  success  in  business,  women  to  beseech  the  gods  for  off- 
spring. Here  hobbles  along  the  lame  or  rheumatic,  or  the  pale- 
faced  invalid  is  borne  to  the  hot  springs.  Here  is  a  party  of 
pic-nickers,  or  poets  intent  on  the  joys  of  drink,  verse,  and  scenery. 
Here  a  troop  of  strolling  players  or  knot  of  masqueraders  are  in 
peripatetic  quest  of  a  livelihood,  toiling  fearfully  hard  in  order  to 
escape  settled  industry.  Nobles  in  mourning  pass  with  their 
faces  invisible.  Postal  slaves,  women  doing  the  work  of  express 
agents  in  forwarding  parcels,  pass  the  merchant  with  his  loaded 
pack-horses  returning  from  Sunto,  or  going  to  Gensan.  There  a 
packman  is  doing  horse's  work  in  transportation.  Here  an  ox 
laden  with  brushwood  is  led  by  a  woman.  Beggars,  corpses, 
kang-si,  or  men  dead  of  hunger  in  times  of  famine,  make  the 
lights  and  shadows  of  life  on  the  road. 


There  are  other  methods  of  travel  besides  those  of  horseback, 
on  foot,  and  sedan  chair,  for  oxen  are  often  straddled  by  the 
men,  and  poor  women  travel  on  an  ox,  in  a  sort  of  improvised 
palanquin  having  four  poles  recurved  to  centre  and  covered  with 
robe  or  cloak.  In  winter,  among  the  mountains  not  only  in  the 
north,  but  even  in  Chulla,  the  people  go  on1  racquettes  or  snow- 
shoes.  These  are  in  shape  like  a  battledore,  and  are  several  feet 
long.  At  regular  distances  are  yek,  or  relays  or  offices,  at  which 
sit  clerks  or  managers  under  government  auspices,  with  hered- 
itary slaves  or  serfs,  porters,  guides,  mail-couriers,  and  pack- 
horses.  These  await  the  service  of  the  traveller,  especially  of 
official  couriers,  the  finer  beasts  being  reserved  for  journeying 

All  these  throughout  a  certain  district,  of  which  there  are  sev- 
eral in  each  province,  are  under  the  direction  of  the  Tsal-peng,  or 
Director  of  Posts.  Kiung-sang,  the  province  having  the  greatest 
number  of  roads,  has  also  the  best  equipment  in  the  way  of  post- 
oificers,  relays,  and  horses.  The  following  table  from  DaUet  shows 
the  equipment  of  the  eight  provinces  : 

Post  Superin- 







Chunef-chonsr.  . 
















Wang  hei  . 















Yet  with  this  provision  for  locomotion,  the  country  is  very 
deficient  in  houses  for  public  accommodation.  Inns  are  to  be 
found  only  along  the  great  highways,  and  but  rarely  along  the 
sinaller  or  sequestered  roads.  This  want  arises,  perhaps,  not  so 
much  from  the  poverty  of  the  people,  as  from  the  fact  that  their 
proverbial  hospitality  does  away  with  the  necessity  of  numerous 
irms.  The  Coreans  have  been  so  often  represented,  or  rather  mis- 

288  COREA. 

represented,  as  inhospitable,  fierce,  and  rude  by  foreigners,  that 
to  give  an  inside  view  of  them  as  seen  through  information  gath- 
ered from  the  French  missionaries  in  Corea  is  a  pleasant  task. 
From  them  we  may  learn  how  much  the  white-coated  peninsulars 
are  like  their  cousins,  the  Japanese,  and  that  human  nature  in 
good  average  quantity  and  quality  dwells  under  the  big  hats  of 
the  Coreans.  The  traveller  usually  takes  his  provisions  along  with 
him,  but  he  need  not  eat  it  out-doors.  As  he  sits  along  the  way- 
side, he  will  be  invited  into  some  house  to  warm  his  food.  When 
obliged  to  go  some  distance  among  the  mountains  to  cut  wood  or 
make  charcoal,  a  man  is  sure  to  find  a  hut  in  which  he  can  lodge. 
He  has  only  to  bring  his  rice.  The  villagers  will  cook  it  for  him, 
after  adding  the  necessary  pickles  or  sauces.  Even  the  oxen, 
except  during  the  busy  season,  are  easily  obtained  on  loan. 

The  great  virtue  of  the  Coreans  is  their  innate  respect  for  and 
daily  practice  of  the  laws  of  human  brotherhood.  Mutual  assist- 
ance and  generous  hospitality  among  themselves  are  distinctive 
national  traits.  In  all  the  important  events  of  life,  such  as  mar- 
riages and  funerals,  each  one  makes  it  his  duty  to  aid  the  family 
most  directly  interested.  One  will  charge  himself  with  the  duty 
of  making  purchases  ;  others  with  arranging  the  ceremonies.  The 
poor,  who  can  give  nothing,  cany  messages  to  friends  and  rela- 
tives in  the  near  or  remote  villages,  passing  day  and  night  on  foot 
and  giving  their  labors  gratuitously.  To  them,  the  event  is  not  a 
mere  personal  matter,  but  an  affair  of  public  interest. 

When  fire,  flood,  or  other  accident  destroys  the  house  of  one 
of  their  number,  neighbors  make  it  a  duty  to  lend  a  hand  to  re- 
build. One  brings  stone,  another  wood,  another  straw.  Each,  in 
addition  to  his  gifts  in  material,  devotes  two  or  three  days'  work 
gratuitously.  A  stranger,  coming  into  a  village,  is  always  assisted 
to  build  a  dwelling. 

Hospitality  is  considered  as  one  of  the  most  sacred  duties.  It 
would  be  a  grave  and  shameful  thing  to  refuse  a  portion  of  one's 
meal  with  any  person,  known  or  unknown,  who  presents  himself 
at  eating-time.  Even  the  poor  laborers,  who  take  their  noon-meal 
at  the  side  of  the  roads,  are  often  seen  sharing  their  frugal  nour- 
ishment with  the  passer-by.  Usually  at  a  feast,  the  neighbors 
consider  themselves  invited  by  right  and  custom.  The  poor  man 
whose  duty  calls  him  to  make  a  journey  to  a  distant  place  does 
not  need  to  make  elaborate  preparatons.  His  stick,  his  pipe, 
some  clothes  in  a  packet  hung  from  his  shoulder,  some  cash  in 


his  purse,  if  lie  has  one,  and  his  outfit  is  complete.  At  night, 
inste  id  of  going  to  a  hotel  with  its  attendant  expense,  he  enters 
gome  house,  whose  exterior  room  is  open  to  any  comer.  There  he 
is  sure  to  find  food  and  lodging  for  the  night.  Rice  will  be  shared 
with  the  stranger,  and,  at  bed-time,  a  corner  of  the  floor-mat  will 
serve  for  a  bed,  while  he  may  rest  his  head  on  a  foot-length  of  the 
long  log  of  wood  against  the  wall,  which  serves  as  a  pillow.  Even 
should  he  delay  his  journey  for  a  day  or  two,  little  or  nothing  to 
his  discredit  will  be  harbored  by  his  hosts.  In  Corea,  the  old 
proverb  concerning  fish  and  company  after  three  days  does  not 
seem  to  hold  good. 

A3  may  be  imagined,  such  a  system  is  prolific  in  breeding  beg- 
gars, tramps,  blackmailers,  and  lazy  louts,  who  "sponge"  upon 
the  benevolently  disposed.  Ricji  families  are  often  bored  by  these 
self-iivited  parasites,  who  eat  with  unblushing  cheek  at  their 
table  *  for  weeks  at  a  time.  They  do  not  even  disdain — nay,  they 
often  clamor  for — clothing  as  well.  To  refuse  would  only  result 
in  bringing  down  calumny  and  injury.  Peddlers,  strolling  play- 
ers, astrologers,  etc.,  likewise  avail  themselves  of  the  opportu- 
nities, and  act  as  plundering  harpies.  Often  whole  bands  go 
round  quartering  themselves  on  the  villages,  and  sometimes  the 
government  is  called  upon  to  interpose  its  authority  and  protect 
the  people. 

Corea  is  full  of  Micawbers,  men  who  are  as  prodigal  as  avar\- 
cious  who  when  they  have  plenty  of  money,  scatter  it  quickly. 
When  flush  they  care  only  to  live  in  style,  to  treat  their  friends,  to 
satisfy  their  caprices.  When  poverty  comes,  they  take  it  without 
complaint,  and  wait  till  the  wheel  of  fortune  turns  again  to  give 
them  better  days.  When  by  any  process  they  have  made  some 
gain  by  finding  a  root  of  ginseng,  a  bit  of  gold  ore,  a  vein  of 
crystid,  what  matters  it?  Let  the  future  take  care  of  itself.  Hence 
it  happens  that  the  roads  are  full  of  men  seeking  some  stroke  of 
luck,  hoping  to  discover  at  a  distance  what  they  could  not  find  at 
home  to  li ght  upon  some  treasure  not  yet  dug  up  or  to  invent 
some  new  means  of  making  money.  People  forever  waiting  for 
somerhing  to  turn  up  emigrate  from  one  village  to  another,  stop  a 
year  or  two,  and  then  tramp  on,  seeking  better  luck,  but  usually 
finding  worse. 

S1  rolling  companies  of  mountebanks,  players  and  musicians,  in 
numbers  of  five,  six,  or  more,  abound  in  Cho-sen.  They  wander 
up  and  down  through  the  eight  circuits,  and,  in  spring  and  sum- 

290  COREA. 

mer,  earn  a  precarious  and  vagabond  livelihood.  Their  reputation 
among  the  villagers  is  none  of  the  best,  being  about  on  a  par  with 
that  of  the  gypsies,  or  certain  gangs  of  railroad  surveyors  of  our 
own  country.  They  often  levy  a  sort  of  blackmail  upon  the  peo- 
ple. They  are  jugglers,  acrobats,  magicians,  marionette  players, 
and  performers  on  musical  instruments.  Some  of  them  display 
an  astonishing  amount  of  cleverness  and  sleight  of  hand  in  their 
feats.  In  the  villages  crowds  of  gaping  urchins  are  their  chief 
spectators,  but  in  the  large  cities  they  are  invited  to  private 
houses  to  give  exhibitions  and  are  paid  for  it.  When  about  to 
begin  a  performance,  they  secure  attention  by  whistling  on  the 
nail  of  their  little  finger.  On  the  occasion  of  the  anniversary  of 
some  happy  event,  a  public  fete  day,  a  marriage  or  a  social  com- 
pany, the  lack  of  what  we  call  society — that  is,  social  relations 
between  gentlemen  and  ladies — is  made  up,  and  amusement  is 
furnished  by  these  players,  engaged  for  an  evening  or  two.  The 
guests  fully  appreciate  the  "hired  music,"  and  "best  talent" 
thus  secured  for  a  variety  entertainment.  The  company  of  one 
class  of  these  "men  of  society,"  or  pang-tang,  a  kind  of  "profes- 
sional diner-out,"  is  so  desirable  that  several  are  taken  along  by 
the  ambassadors  to  China  to  amuse  them  on  their  long  and  tedi- 
ous journey,  especially  at  nights.  The  chang-pu  are  character- 
comedians,  who  serenade  the  baccalaureates  that  have  passed  suc- 
cessfully the  government  examinations.  They  play  the  flute  and 
other  instruments  of  music,  forming  the  escort  which  accompanies 
the  graduate  on  his  visits  to  relatives  and  officials.  A  band  of 
performers  is  always  attached  to  the  suite  of  ambassadors  to 
China  and  Japan,  or  when  visiting  a  foreign  vessel. 

A  character  common  to  Corea  and  Japan  is  the  singing-girl, 
who  is  also  a  great  aid  in  making  life  endurable  to  the  better 
class  of  Coreans,  whose  chief  business  it  is  to  kill  time.  The 
singing-girl  is  the  one  poem  and  picture  in  the  street  life  of  the 
humbler  classes,  whose  poverty  can  rarely,  if  ever,  allow  them  to 
purchase  her  society  or  enjoy  her  charms  and  accomplishments. 
Socially,  her  rank  is  low,  very  low.  She  is  herself  the  child  of 
poverty  and  toil.  Her  parents  are  poor  people,  who  gladly  give 
up  their  daughter,  if  of  pretty  face  and  form,  to  a  life  of  doubtful 
morals,  in  order  that  she  may  thereby  earn  her  own  support  and 
assist  her  parents.  She  herself  gladly  leaves  the  drudgery  of  the 
kitchen,  and  the  abject  meanness  of  the  hovel,  to  shine  in  the 
palace  and  the  mansion.  Her  dress  is  of  finest  fabric,  her  luxu- 


riant  black  hair  is  bound  with  skill  and  grace,  her  skin  is  whit- 
ened by  artificial  cosmetics  as  far  as  possible,  and  with  powder, 
paint,  and  pomatum,  she  spends  much  of  her  life  before  the  look- 
ing-glass, studying  in  youth  to  increase,  and  in  womanhood  to 
regain,  her  charms.  At  home,  she  practises  her  music,  occasionally 
enlivening  a  party  of  her  humble  neighbors.  As  she  passes  along 
the  street,  fresh,  clean,  bright,  and  pretty,  she  may  dispense  smiles 
for  popularity's  sake,  but  her  errand  is  to  the  houses  of  the 
wealthy,  and  especially  to  the  official,  who,  for  his  own  amusement 
as  he  dines  alone,  or  for  iiis  friends  in  social  gathering,  may  employ 
from  two  to  twenty  geishas  (as  the  Japanese  call  them).  Most  Co- 
rean  cities  have  these  geishas,  who  form  themselves  into  a  sort  of 
guild  for  fixed  prices,  etc.  Often  they  organize  complete  bands  or 
choirs,  by  which  music  may  be  had  in  mass  and  volume.  At  a  feast 
th(;y  serve  the  wine,  fill  and  pass  the  dishes,  and  preside  generally 
at  the  table.  When  eating  has  fairly  begun,  they  sing  (chant),  play 
the  guitar,  recite  in  pantomine  or  vocally,  and  furnish  general 
amusement.  The  dancing  is  usually  not  of  an  immoral  character. 
Such  a  life,  however,  amid  feast  and  revel,  wine  and  flattery, 
makes  sad  wreck  of  many  of  them,  morally  and  physically.  A 
large  proportion  of  the  most  beautiful  girls  become  concubines  to 
wealthy  men  or  officials,  or  act  as  ladies  of  the  chamber  (brevet 
wives)  to  young  men  and  widowers.  Not  a  few  join  the  business 
of  prostitutes  with  that  of  musicians.  Nevertheless,  it  is  quite 
possible  for  a  respectable  family  to  enjoy  a  pleasant  and  harmless 
evening  by  the  aid  of  the  lively  geishas.  Of  course,  Seoul  is  the 
chief  headquarters  of  the  fairest  and  most  accomplished  geishas, 
who  are,  as  a  class,  the  best  educated  of  their  sex  in  Corea. 

The  theatre,  proper,  does  not  seem  to  exist  in  Corea.  The 
substitute  and  nearest  approach  to  it  is  recitation  in  monologue  of 
certain  events  or  extracts  from  the  standard  or  popular  histories, 
a  single  individual  representing  the  successive  roles.  The  his- 
trionic artist  pitches  his  tabernacle  of  four  posts  in  some  popular 
str(  et  or  corner.  He  spreads  mats  for  a  roof  or  shade  from  the 
sun  in  front,  and  for  a  background  in  the  rear.  A  platform,  and 
a  box  to  squat  on,  with  a  small  reading-desk,  and  a  cup  of  gin- 
gery water  to  refresh  his  palate,  complete  his  outfit. 

A  few  rough  benches  or  mats  constitute  all  the  accommodation 
for  the  audience.  A  gaping  crowd  soon  collects  around  him,  his 
auditors  pull  out  their  pipes,  and  refreshment  venders  improve 
the  occasion  for  the  chance  sale  of  their  viands.  With  his  voice 

292  COREA. 

trained  to  various  tones  and  to  polite  and  vulgar  forms  of  speech, 
he  will  hold  dialogues  and  conversations,  and  mimic  the  attitude 
and  gestures  of  various  characters.  -The  trial  of  a  criminal  before 
a  magistrate,  the  bastinado,  a  quarrel  between  husband  and  wife, 
scenes  from  high  life  and  low  life  will  be  in  turn  rendered.  He 
will  imitate  the  grave  tones  and  visage  of  the  magistrate,  the  pit- 
eous appeals,  the  cries  and  groans  and  contortions  of  the  victim 
under  torture,  the  angry  or  grumbling  voice  of  the  husband,  the 
shrill  falsetto  of  the  scolding  shrew  or  the  shower  of  tears  and  the 
piteous  appeals  of  the  wife.  Smiles,  frowns,  surprise,  sorrow,  and 
all  the  emotions  are  simulated,  and  the  accompaniment  of  voice 
is  kept  up  with  jokes,  puns,  bon-mots,  irony,  or  well-expressed 
pathos.  In  short,  the  reciter  is  a  theatrical  stock  company,  and  a 
band  of  minstrels,  rolled  into  one  person.  For  the  use  of  begin- 
ners, and  the  mediocrity  of  the  profession,  there  are  a  number  of 
"jest-books,"  collections  of  jokes  and  anecdotes,  more  or  less 
threadbare,  and  of  varying  moral  quality,  from  which  speakers 
may  prime*  for  the  occasion.  With  the  advanced  of  the  profession, 
however,  most  of  the  smart  sayings  are  original  and  off-hand. 
The  habitu6s  of  the  booths  have  their  "  star  "  favorite,  as  theatre- 
goers with  us  go  into  raptures  over  their  actors.  Able  men  make 
a  good  living  at  the  business,  as  they  "pass  round  the  hat"  to 
take  up  a  collection  in  the  audience.  This  usually  comes  at  the 
most  telling  point  of  the  narrative,  when  the  interest  of  the 
hearers  is  roused  to  the  highest  pitch  (or  when  it  is  to  be  ".con- 
tinued in  our  next,"  as  the  flash  newspapers  say).  Sometimes  the 
speaker  will  not  go  on  till  the  collection  is  deemed  by  the  tyrant 
a  sufficient  appreciation  of  his  talents.  In  addition  to  their  public 
street  income,  the  best  of  them  are  often  invited  to  perform  in 
private  houses,  at  family  reunions,  social  parties,  and  as  a  rule,  in 
visits  to  dignitaries  by  candidates  who  have  won  degrees. 

The  Corean  gamut,  differing  from  the  scale  used  in  European 
countries,  makes  a  fearful  and  wonderful  difference  in  effect  upon 
our  ears.  Some  of  their  melodies  upon  the  flute  are  plaintive 
and  sweet,  but  most  of  their  music  is  distressing  to  the  ear  and 
desolating  to  the  air.  One  hearer  describes  their  choicest  pieces 
as  "  the  most  discordant  sounds  that  ever  were  emitted  under  the 
name  of  music  from  brass  tubes."  Some  of  the  flute  music,  how- 
ever, is  very  sweet.  As  most  of  the  ancient  music  of  Japan  is  of 
Corean  origin,  one  can  get  a  fair  idea  of  the  nature  of  the  sounds 
that  delight  a  Corean  ear  from  the  music  of  the  imperial  band  of 


Tokio,  which  plays  the  classical  scores.  Yet  it  is  evident  that*the 
modern  tunes  of  Seoul  are  not  melodious  to  Japanese  auditory 
nerves.  One  would  think  that,  as  the  mikado's  subjects  "hear 
themselves  as  others  hear  them"  when  Corean  musicians  play, 
they  would  be  delighted.  On  •  the  contrary,  Corean  music  seems 
to  horrify  and  afflict  the  Japanese  ear.  Evidently,  in  the  course 
of  centuries  the  musical  scales  of  the  two  countries,  originally 
identical,  have  altered  in  tone  and  interval.  Wan-ka  is  the  father 
of  Corean  music — though  the  mere  fact  that  he  belonged  to  an- 
tiquity would  secure  his  renown.  The  various  stringed  musical 
instruments  known  are  the  kemunko,  a  kind  of  large  guitar  ;  the 
kavyakko,  mandolin  ;  the  ko-siul,  or  guitar  of  twenty-five  strings  ; 
and  the  five-stringed  harp  or  violin.  The  wind  instruments  comprise 
a  whole  battery  of  flutes,  long  and  short  trumpets,  while  cymbals, 
drums,  and  other  objects  of  percussion  are  numerous.  Ambas- 
sadors and  other  high  officers  at  home,  and  when  on  duty  to 
foreign  countries,  are  accompanied  by  a  band  of  musicians.  La- 
borers on  government  works  are  summoned  to  begin  and  end 
work  by  music,  but  the  full  effect  of  a  musical  salvo  is  attained  at 
the  opening  and  closing  of  the  city  gates.  Then  the  sound  is 
moat  distressing — or  most  captivating,  according  as  the  ears  are 
to  the  manner  born,  or  receive  their  first  experience  of  what 
tortures  the  air  may  be  made  to  vibrate. 

The  chief  out-door  manly  sport  in  Corea  is,  by  excellence,  that 
of  .irchery.  It  is  encouraged  by  the  government  for  the  national 
safety  in  war,  and  nobles  stimulate  their  retainers  to  excellence 
by  rewards.  Most  gentlemen  have  targets  and  arrow-walks  for 
practice  in  their  gardens.  At  regular  times  in  the  year  contests 
of  tfkill  are  held,  at  which  archers  of  reputation  compete,  the 
expense  and  prizes  being  paid  for  out  of  the  public  purse.  Hamel 
says  the  great  men's  retainers  have  nothing  to  do  but  to  learn  to 
shoot.  The  grandees  rival  each  other  in  keeping  the  most  famous 
archers,  as  an  Englishman  might  his  fox-hounds  or  as  the  daimios 
of  Japan  formerly  vied  with  each  other  in  patronizing  the  fattest 
and  most  skilful  wrestlers.  Other  manly  sports  are  those  of 
boxing  and  fist-fights.  Young  men  practice  the  "manly  art"  in 
play  with  each  other,  and  at  times  champions  are  chosen  by  rival 
villages  and  a  set-to  between  the  bruisers  is  the  result,  with  more 
or  less  of  broken  heads  and  pulpy  faces.  In  large  cities  the 
contestants  may  come  from  different  wards  of  the  same  city.  In 
Seoil,  usually  in  the  first  month,  there  are  some  lively  tussles 

294  COREA. 

between  picked  champions,  with  betting  and  cheering  of  the 
backers  of  either  party.  Often  these  trials  of  skill  degenerate  into 
a  free  fight,  in  which  clubs  and  stones  are  used  freely ;  cracked 
skulls  and  loss  of  life  are  common.  The  magistrates  do  not 
usually  interfere,  but  allow  the  frolic  to  spend  itself. 

Another  class  of  men  worthy  of  notice,  and  identified  with 
out-door  life,  are  the  sportsmen.  The  bird-hunters  never  shoot 
on  the  wing.  They  disguise  themselves  in  skins,  feathers,  straw, 
etc.,  and  lurk  in  some  coigne  of  vantage  to  bring  down  the  game 
that  comes  within  their  range.  The  skilled  fowler  understands 
perfectly  how  to  imitate  the  cries  of  the  various  birds,  particularly 
that  of  the  pheasant  calling  his  mate.  By  this  means  most  of  the 
female  pheasants  are  captured.  The  call  used  is  an  iron  whistle, 
shaped  like  the  apricot-stone,  and  simliar  to  that  used  by  the 
Japanese  hunters.  The  method  of  hunting  the  deer  is  as  follows  : 
During  the  months  of  June  and  July  deer -horn  commands  a  very 
high  price,  for  it  is  at  this  season  that  the  deer-horns  are  develop- 
ing, and  the  "spike-bucks  "  are  special  prizes.  A  party  of  three 
or  four  hunters  is  formed.  They  beat  up  the  mountain  sides 
during  several  days,  and,  at  night,  when  obliged  to  cease  for 
awhile,  they  have  a  wonderful  instinct  for  detecting  the  trail  of 
the  game,  except  when  the  earth  is  too  dry.  Usually  they  come 
up  to  their  game  on  the  third  day,  which  they  bring  down  with  a 
gunshot.  The  horn  is  sold  to  the  native  physicians  or  is  exported 
to  China  and  Japan,  where  hartshorn  and  valuable  medicines  are 
concocted  from  it.  A  successful  deer-hunt  usually  enables  a 
hunter  to  live  on  his  profits  for  a  good  part  of  the  year,  and  in 
some  cases  individuals  make  small  fortunes.  Those  who  hunt 
bears  wait  for  the  occasion  when  the  mother  bear  leads  her  cubs 
to  the  seashore  to  feast  them  on  the  crabs.  Then  the  hunters 
bide  their  time  till  they  see  the  mother  lifting  up  the  heavy  rocks 
on  edge,  while  the  little  cubs  eat  the  crabs.  The  hunters  usually 
rush  forward  and  assault  the  bear,  which,  frightened,  lets  fall  the 
rock,  which  crushes  the  cub.  When  on  the  open  field  or  shore 
they  do  not  fire  at  the  she-bear,  unless  sure  of  killing  her.  For 
the  various  parts  of  the  animal  good  prices  await  the  hunter  who 
sells.  In  addition  to  the  proceeds  from  hide,  flesh,  fat,  and 
sinews,  the  liver  and  gall  of  the  brute,  supposed  to  possess  great 
potency  in  medicine,  are  sold  for  their  weight  in  silver.  In 
another  chapter  we  have  written  of  the  tiger-hunters  and  theii 
noble  game. 


Gambling  and  betting  are  fearfully  common  habits  in  Corea, 
and  kite-flying  gives  abundant  occasion  for  money  to  change 
hards.  The  two  months  of  the  winter,  during  which  the  north 
wir  d  blows,  is  "  kite  time."  The  large  and  strong  kites  are  flown 
with  skill,  requiring  stout  cords  and  to  be  held  by  young  men. 
A  large  crowd  usually  collects  to  witness  the  battle  of  the  kites, 
whon  the  kites  are  put  through  various  evolutions  in  the  air,  by 
which  one  seeks  to  destroy,  tear,  or  saw  off  the  string  of  the  other. 

Resources  for  in-door  amusement  are  chiefly  in  the  form  of 
gossip,  story-telling,  smoking,  lounging,  and  games  of  hazard, 
such  as  chess,  checkers,  and  backgammon.  The  game  of  chess 
is  the  same  as  that  played  in  Japan  and  China.  Card-playing, 
though  interdicted  by  law,  is  habitual  among  the  common  people. 
The  nobles  look  upon  it  as  vulgar  amusement  beneath  their  dig- 
nity. The  people  play  secretly  or  at  night,  often  gambling  to  a 
ruinous  extent.  It  is  said  that  the  soldiers,  especially  those  on 
guard,  and  at  the  frontiers,  are  freely  allowed  to  play  cards,  as 
that  is  the  surest  way  to  keep  them  awake  and  alert  in  the  pres- 
ence of  enemies,  and  as  safeguards  against  night  attacks.  They 
shuffle  and  cut  the  cards  as  we  do.  Games  with  the  hands  and 
fingers,  similar  to  those  in  Japan,  are  also  well  known. 

In  pagan  lands,  where  a  Sabbath,  or  anything  like  it,  is  utterly 
uknown  alike  to  the  weary  laborer,  the  wealthy,  and  the  men  of 
leisure,  some  compensation  is  afforded  by  the  national  and  relig- 
iouH  holidays.  These  in  Corea  consist  chiefly  of  the  festal  occa- 
sions observed  in  China,  the  feasts  appropriate  to  the  seasons, 
planting,  and  harvest,  the  Buddhist  saints'  anniversaries,  the 
king's  birthday,  and  the  new  year. 

Among  the  poorer  classes  the  families  celebrate  the  birthday 
of  the  head  of  the  family  only,  but  among  the  noble  and  wealthy, 
each  member  of  the  family  is  honored  with  gifts  and  a  festal  gath- 
ering of  friends.  There  are  certain  years  of  destiny  noticed  with 
extra  joy  and  congratulations,  but  the  chief  of  all  is  the  sixty-first 
year.  With  us,  the  days  of  man  are  three  score  years  and  ten,  but 
in  the  hermit  kingdom  the  limit  of  life  is  three  score  years  and 
one  and  the  reason  is  this  :  The  Coreans  divide  time  according  to 
the  Chinese  cycle  of  sixty  years,  which  is  made  up  of  two  series  of 
ten  and  twelve  each  respectively.  Every  year  has  a  name  after  the 
zodiacal  sign,  or  one  of  the  five  elements.  The  first  birthday 
occTirring  after  the  entire  revolution  of  the  cycle  is  a  very  solemn 
event  to  a  sexagenarian,  and  the  festival  commemorative  of  it  is 

296  COREA. 

called  Wan-kap.  All,  rich  and  poor,  noble  and  vulgar,  observe 
this  day,  which  definitely  begins  old  age,  when  man,  having  passed 
the  acknowledged  limit  of  life,  must  remember  and  repose.  When 
it  happens — a  rare  event — that  the  sixty-first  anniversary  of  a 
wedding  finds  both  parties  alive,  there  are  extraordinary  rejoic- 
ings, and  the  event  is  celebrated  like  our  "diamond  weddings." 
For  both  these  feasts  children  and  friends  must  strain  every 
nerve,  and  spend  all  their  cash  to  be  equal  to  the  occasion  and  to 
spread  the  table  for  all  comers  ;  for  at  such  a  time,  not  only  the 
neighbors,  but  often  the  whole  country  folk  round  are  interested. 
A  silk  robe  for  the  honored  aged,  new  clothes  for  themselves, 
and  no  end  of  wine  and  good  cheer  for  friends,  acquaintances, 
hangers-on,  country  cousins,  and  strangers  from  afar,  must  be 
provided  without  stint.  Poems  are  recited,  games  and  sports 
enjoyed,  minstrels  sing  and  dance,  and  recitations  are  given.  All 
come  with  compliments  in  their  mouths — and  a  ravenous  appetite. 
All  must  be  fed  and  none  turned  away,  and  the  children  of  the 
honored  one  must  be  willing  to  spend  their  last  coin  and  econo- 
mize, or  even  starve,  for  a  year  afterward.  It  is  often  as  dreadful 
an  undertaking  as  a  funeral  pageant  in  other  lands.  In  the  event 
of  the  queen,  royal  mother,  or  king,  reaching  the  sixty-first  birth- 
day the  profusion  and  prodigality  of  expense  and  show  reaches  a 
height  of  shameful  extravagance.  All  the  prisons  are  opened  by 
general  amnesty,  and  the  jail-birds  fly  free.  An  extraordinary 
session  of  examiners  is  held  to  grant  degrees.  In  the  capital  all 
the  grandees  -  present  themselves  before  the  king  with  gifts  and 
homage.  In  all  the  rural  districts,  a  large  picture  of  the  king  is 
hung  up  in  a  noted  place.  The  chief  magistrate,  preceded  by 
music  and  followed  by  his  satellites,  and  all  the  people  proceed  to 
the  place  and  prostrate  themselves  before  the  effigy,  offering  their 
congratulations.  In  the  capital  the  soldiers  receive  gifts  from  the 
court,  and  the  day  is  a  universal  holiday  for  the  entire  nation. 

Almost  as  matter  of  course,  the  festivals  are  used  as  means  of 
extortion  and  oppression  of  the  people  by  the  officials,  who  grind 
the  masses  mercilessly  to  provide  the  necessary  resources  for  the 
waste  and  luxury  of  the  capital  and  the  court.  New  Year's  day  is 
not  only  the  greatest  of  all  Corean  feasts  in  universal  observance, 
but  is  also  the  only  real  Sabbath  time  of  the  year,  when  for  days 
together  all  regular  employments  cease  and  rejoicing  reigns  su- 
preme. All  debts  must  be  paid  and  accounts  squared  up,  absen- 
tees must  return,  and  children  away  from  home  must  rejoin  the 


family.  The  magistrates  close  the  tribunals,  no  arrests  are  made, 
and  prisoners  held  to  answer  for  slight  offences  are  given  leave  of 
absence  for  several  days,  after*  which  they  report  again  as  pris- 
oners. All  work,  except  that  of  festal  preparation,  ought  to  cease 
d  iring  the  last  three  days  of  the  old  year.  It  is  etiquette  to  begin 
by  visits  on  New  Year's  Eve.  though  this  is  not  universal. 

On  New  Year's  morning  salutations  or  calls  are  made  on 
friends,  acquaintances,  and  superiors.  To  this  rule  there  must  be 
no  exception^  on  pain  of  a  rupture  of  friendly  relations.  The  chief 
ceremony  of  the  day  is  the  sacrifice  at  the  tablets  of  ancestors. 
Proceeding  to  the  family  tombs,  if  near  the  house,  or  to  the  special 
room  or  shelf  in  the  dwelling  itself,  the  entire  family  make  pros- 
trations. Costly  ceremonies,  with  incense-sticks,  etc.,  regulated 
according  to  the  family  purse,  follow.  This  is  the  most  important 
filial  and  religious  act  of  the  year.  In  cases  where  the  tombs  are 
distant,  the  visit  must  not  be  postponed  later  than  during  the  first 
month.  After  the  ancestral  sacrifices,  comes  the  distribution  of 
presents,  which  are  enclosed  in  New  Year's  boxes.  These  consist 
of  new  dresses,  shoes,  confectionery,  jewelry  for  the  boys  and  girls, 
and  various  gifts,  chiefly  cooked  delicacies,  for  neighbors,  friends, 
and  acquaintances.  For  five  days  the  festivities  are  kept  up  by 
visits,  social  parties,  and  entertainments  of  all  sorts.  The  ordinary 
labors  of  life  are  resumed  on  the  sixth  day  of  the  new  year,  but 
with  many,  fun,  rest,  and  frolic  are  prolonged  during  the  month. 

The  tenth  day  of  the  second  month  is  the  great  house-cleaning 
d;iy  of  the  year,  when  mats  are  taken  up  and  shaken,  the  pots, 
kottles,  and  jars  scoured,  and  the  clothing  renovated. 

Tomb-cleaning  day  occurs  in  the  third  month.  On  this  occa- 
sion they  make  offerings  of  food  to  their  ancestors,  and  cleanse 
tombs  and  tablets.  It  is  a  busy  time  in  the  graveyards,  to  which 
women  transfer  their  straw  scrubbers,  dippers,  and  buckets,  when 
monuments  and  idols  are  well  soused  and  scoured.  It  is  more 
like  a  picnic,  with  fun  and  work  in  equal  proportions. 

The  third  day  of  the  third  month  comes  in  spring,  and  is  the 
great  May-clay  and  merrymaking.  The  people  go  out  on  the  river 
with  food  and  drink,  and  spend  the  day  in  feasting  and  frolic. 
Others  wander  in  the  peach-orchards  to  view  the  blossoms.  Others 
so  inclined,  enjoy  themselves  by  composing  stanzas  of  poetry. 

On  the  eighth  day  of  the  fourth  month  the  large  cities  are 
illuminated  with  paper  lanterns  of  many  colors,  and  people  go  out 
on  hills  and  rivers  to  view  the  gay  sights  and  natural  scenery. 

298  COREA. 

The  fifth  day  of  the  fifth  month  is  a  great  festival  day,  on 
which  the  king  presents  fans  to  his  courtiers. 

On  the  fifteenth  day  of  the  seventh  month  occurs  the  cere- 
mony of  distributing  seed.  The  king  gives  to  his  officials  one 
hundred  kinds  of  seed  for  the  crops  of  the  next  year. 

On  the  fifteenth  day  of  the  eighth  month  sacrifices  are  offered 
at  the  graves  of  ancestors  and  broken  tombs  are  repaired. 

The  chrysanthemum  festival  is  one  of  much  popular  interest. 
Among  the  most  brilliant  flowers  of  the  peninsula  are  the  chry- 
santhemums, which  are  cultivated  with  great  pride  and  care  by 
gentlemen  and  nobles.  The  flower  is  brought  to  unusual  perfec- 
tion by  allowing  but  a  single  flower  to  grow  upon  one  stem. 
They  are  often  cultivated  apart,  under  oiled  paper  frames.  On 
the  ninth  day  of  the  ninth  month  the  perfected  blossoms  are  in 
their  glory,  and  the  owner  of  a  crop  of  brilliant  chrysanthemums 
invites  his  friends  to  his  house  to  feast  and  enjoy  the  sight  of  the 
blooms.  The  florists  exhibit  their  triumphs,  and  picnic  parties 
enjoy  the  scenery  from  the  bridges  and  on  the  mountains. 

The  article  chiefly  used  for  pastry  among  oblique-eyed  human- 
ity is  what  the  Japanese  call  mochi,  a  substance  made  by  boiling 
rice  and  pounding  it  into  a  tough  mass  resembling  pie-crust.  Like 
oysters,  it  may  be  eaten  "  in  every  style,"  raw,  warmed,  baked, 
toasted,  boiled,  or  fried.  It  occupies  an  important  place  in  cere- 
monial offerings  to  the  dead,  in  the  temple,  and  in  household 
festal  decoration.  It  is  made  in  immense  quantities,  and  eaten 
especially  at  New  Year's  time,  and  on  the  two  equinoctial  days  of 
the  year.  Another  favorite  mixed  food  for  festive  occasions  is 
"  red  rice "  and  beans.  The  Corean  housewife  takes  as  much 
pains  to  color  the  rice  properly  as  a  German  lavishes  upon  his 
meerschaum,  and  if  the  color  fails,  or  is  poor,  it  is  a  sign  of  bad  luck. 

The  fourteenth  day  of  the  first  month  a  person  who  is  en- 
tering upon  a  critical  year  of  his  life  makes  an  effigy  of  straw, 
dresses  it  up  with  his  own  clothing  at  evening,  and  casts  it  out  on 
the  road,  and  then  feasts  merrily  during  the  whole  night.  What- 
ever happens  to  the  man  of  straw  thus  kicked  out  of  the  house,  is 
supposed  to  happen  to  the  man's  former  self,  now  gone  into  the 
past ;  and  Fate  is  believed  to  look  upon  the  individual  in  new 
clothes  as  another  man. 

The  fifth,  fifteenth,  and  twenty-fifth  of  each  month  are  called 
"broken  days,"  on  which  they  avoid  beginning  anything  new. 
These  are  the  "Fridays"  of  Cho-sen.  In  the  beginning  of  each 


of  the  four  seasons  of  the  year  they  post  up  on  the  doors  of  their 
houses  slips  of  paper,  on  which  are  written  mottoes,  such  as  "  Lon- 
gevity is  like  the  South  Mountain,"  "Wealth  is  like  the  Eastern 
Sea,"  etc.  Certain  years  in  each  person's  life  are  supposed  to  be 
critical,  and  special  care  as  to  health,  food,  clothing,  new  ven- 
tures, etc.,  must  be  taken  during  these  years,  which  are  ended 
with  a  feast,  or,  what  is  more  economical,  a  sigh  of  relief. 

The  fifteenth  day  of  the  first  month  is  called  "  Stepping  on 
the  Bridge."  A  man  and  woman  go  out  together  over  the  bridge 
at  the  rising  of  the  moon  and  view  the  moonlit  scenery,  indulging 
mtianwhile  in  refreshments,  both  of  the  solid  and  liquid  sort.  It 
is  believed  that  if  one  crosses  over  seven  bridges  on  this  night,  he 
will  be  free  from  calamities  during  the  year. 

Not  the  least  interesting  of  the  local  or  national  festivals,  are 
those  held  in  memory  of  the  soldiers  slain  in  the  service  of  their 
country  on  famous  battle-fields.  Besides  holding  annual  memorial 
celebrations  at  these  places,  which  fire  the  patriotism  of  the  people, 
there  are  temples  erected  to  soothe  the  spirits  of  the  slain.  Espe- 
cially noteworthy  are  these  monumental  edifices,  on  sites  made 
painful  to  the  national  memory  by  the  great  Japanese  invasion  of 
1592-97,  which  keep  fresh  the  scars  of  war.  A  revival  of  these 
patriotic  festivals  has  been  stimulated  by  the  fanatical  haters  of 
Japan,  since  this  neighbor  country  broke  away  from  Asiatic  tradi- 

Though  much  has  been  written  concerning  the  population  of 
Corea,  we  consider  all  conjectures  of  persons  alike  unfamiliar  with 
the  interior  and  the  true  sources  of  information  as  worthless. 
These  random  figures  vary  from  250,000  (!)  to  6,000,000.  Dallet 
presumes  a  population  of  10,000,000.  A  rude  enumeration  made 
thirty  years  ago  gives  the  number  of  houses  at  1,700,000,  and  of 
the  people  at  7,000,000.  Our  own  opinion,  formed  after  a  study 
of  the  map  and  official  lists  of  towns  and  cities,  is  that  there  are 
at  least  12,000,000  souls  in  Cho-sen-  A  Japanese  correspondent 
of  the  Tokio  Hochi  Shimlun,  writing  from  Seoul,  states  that  a  cen- 
sus made  last  year  (1881)  shows  that  there  are  3,480,911  bousea 
and  16,227,885  persons  in  the  kingdom. 



SHAMANISM  is  the  worship  of  a  large  number  of  primitive  North 
Asiatic  tribes,  having  no  idols  except  a  few  fetishes  and  some  rude 
ancestral  images  or  representations  of  the  spirits  of  the  earth  and 
air.  It  is  a  gross  mixture  of  sorcery  and  sacrificial  ceremonies 
for  the  propitiation  of  evil  spirits.  These  malignant  beings  are 
supposed  to  populate  the  earth,  the  clouds,  and  the  air,  and  to  be 
the  cause  of  most  of  the  ills  suffered  by  man.  They  take  various 
forms,  chiefly  those  of  animals  whose  structure  and  anatomy  are 
more  or  less  imaginary,  each  imp  or  demon  being  a  composite 
creature,  compiled  from  the  various  powers  of  locomotion,  de- 
struction, and  defence  possessed  by  the  real  creatures  that  inhabit 
water,  earth,  and  air.  Some  of  them,  however,  are  gentle  and  of 
lovely  form  and  mien.  Their  apparition  on  earth  is  welcomed 
with  delight  as  the  harbinger  of  good  things  to  come.  Confucius, 
the  teacher,  hailed  by  the  Chinese  as  their  holiest  sage,  and  to 
whom  even  divine  honors  are  paid,  believed  firmly  in  these  por- 
tents and  appearances.  Chief  among  these  mythic  creatures  are 
the  phoenix,  the  kirin,  the  dragon,  besides  a  variety  of  demons  of 
various  sizes,  colors,  habits,  and  character.  Much  of  the  my- 
thology of  Cho-sen  is  that  common  to  Chinese  Asia.  Instead  of 
a  gallery  of  beautiful  human,  or  partially  human,  presences  like 
that  of  Greece,  the  mythology  of  China  deals  largely  with  mythic 
animals,  though  legendary  heroes,  sages,  and  supernatural  beings  in 
human  form  are  not  lacking.  The  four  chief  ideal  creatures  are 
the  dragon,  phoanix,  tortoise,  and  kirin. 

There  is  another  animal  which,  though  a  living  reality,  the 
Coreans  have  idealized  and  gifted  with  powers  supernatural  and 
supra-animal,  almost  as  many  in  number  as  those  with  which  the 
Japanese  have  endowed  the  white  fox.  This  is  the  tiger.  They 
not  only  ascribe  to  him  all  the  mighty  forces  and  characteristics 
of  which  he  is  actually  possessed,  but  popular  superstition  attril> 


utes  to  him  the  powers  of  flying,  of  emitting  fire  and  hurling 
lightning.  He  is  the  symbol  of  strength  and  ubiquity,  the  stand- 
ard of  comparison  with  all  dangers  and  dreadful  forces,  and 
the  paragon  of  human  courage.  On  the  war-flags  this  animal  is 
printed  or  embroidered  in  every  posture,  asleep,  leaping,  erect, 
cc  uchant,  winged,  and  holding  red  fire  in  his  fore-paw.  On  works 
of  art,  cabinets,  boxes,  and  weapons  the  tiger  is  most  frequently 
portrayed  and  is  even  associated  as  an  equal  with  the  four  super- 
natural beings.  In  ancient  time  he  was  worshipped. 

The  riong,  or  dragon,  whose  figure,  as  depicted  in  Corean  art, 
is  perhaps  nothing  more  than  a  highly  idealized  form  of  an  ex- 
tiict  geological  species  of  saurian,  is  one  of  the  four  supernatural 
01  spiritually  endowed  creatures.  He  is  an  embodiment  of  all 
the  forces  of  motion,  change,  and  power  for  offence  and  defence 
in  animal  life,  fin,  wing,  tusk,  horn,  claws,  with  the  mysterious 
attributes  of  the  serpent.  There  are  many  varieties  of  the  species 
dragon,  which  is  the  chief  of  scaly  monsters.  It  possesses  the  gift 
oi  transformation  and  of  rendering  itself  visible  or  invisible  at 
will.  In  the  spring  it  ascends  to  the  skies  and  in  the  autumn 
buries  itself  in  the  watery  depths. 

It  is  this  terrific  manifestation  of  movement  and  power  which 
the  Corean  artist  loves  to  depict — always  in  connection  with 
w.iter,  clouds,  or  the  sacred  jewel  of  which  it  is  the  guardian,  and 
for  which  it  battles,  causing  commotion  in  heaven  and  earth.  The 
dragon  is  synonymous  in  Chinese  philosophy  with  the  third  of  the 
four  creative  influences  and  indicative  of  the  East  and  Springtime, 
tie  blue  dragon  being  the  guardian  of  the  East. 

Another  cycle  of  popular  notions  and  artistic  ideas  is  sug- 
gested by  its  change  of  bulk,  for  this  omnipotent  monster  "be- 
cc  mes  at  will  reduced  to  the  size  of  a  silkworm  or  swollen  till  it 
fills  the  space  of  heaven  and  earth.  It  desires  to  mount,  and  it 
rises  until  it  affronts  the  clouds  ;  to  sink,  and  it  descends  until 
hidden  below  the  fountains  of  the  deep."  The  dragon  is  the 
embodiment  of  the  watery  principle  of  the  atmosphere,  and  its 
P  -otean  shapes  are  but  the  varied  ideal  expression  of  the  many 
forms  and  forces  of  water.  Moisture  in  its  fertilizing  or  destruc- 
ti  ,re  aspects — from  the  silent  dew  to  the  roaring  tempest,  from  the 
tr  ickling  of  a  rill  to  the  tidal  wave  that  engulphs  cities — blessed, 
terrible,  gentle,  irresistible,  is  symbolized  by  the  dragon.  The 
fi  notions  of  the  celestial  dragon  are  to  guard  the  mansions  of  the 
g'  >4s  in  heaven,  so  that  they  do  not  fall ;  of  the  spiritual,  to  cause 

302  COREA. 

the  wind  to  blow  and  produce  rain  for  the  benefit  of  mankind  ;  of 
the  terrestrial,  to  mark  out  the  courses  of  rivers  and  streams,  while 
another  watches  over  the  hidden  treasures  concealed  from  mor- 
tals. This  last  is  the  dragon  that  presides  over  mines  and  gems, 
and  which  mortals  must  propitiate  or  overcome  in  order  to  gain 
the  precious  metals  and  minerals  out  of  the  earth.  Intense  belief 
in  the  dragon  is  one  of  the  chief  reasons  why  the  mines  in  Cho- 
sen are  so  little  worked,  and  the  metals  disturbed.  The  dragon 
pursuing  the  invaders  of  their  sanctuaries  or  fighting  each  other 
to  gain  possession  of  the  jewel  balls  or  sacred  crystals  is  a  favorite 
subject  in  all  art  of  Chinese  parentage.  Rarely  is  the  whole  figure 
of  the  writhing  creature  exposed.  Partly  hidden  in  clouds  or 
water,  he  seems  ever  in  motion.  There  are  also  four  dragon-kings, 
who  have  their  palaces  in  the  world  under  the  sea,  one  ruling  in 
the  northern,  one  in  the  eastern,  one  in  the  southern,  and  one  in 
the  western  sea.  The  ministers  and  messengers  of  these  four 
monarchs  are  the  terrible  dragons  whose  battles  in  the  air  and  in 
the  deep  are  the  causes  of  the  commotion  of  the  elements.  There 
is  also  a  dragon  without  horns,  and  another  that  never  ascends  to 
the  skies.  The  yellow  dragon  is  reckoned  the  most  honorable  of 
his  tribe.  In  common  belief  the  dragon  carries  on  his  forehead  a 
pear-shaped  pearl,  supposed  to  possess  wondrous  virtues  of  heal- 
ing and  power.  Whoever  possesses  these  jewels  will  be  invincible, 
and  the  power  of  his  descendants  endure. 

From  its  divine  origin  and  character  the  dragon  is  symbolical 
of  all  that  pertains  to  the  emperor  of  Great  China.  Hence  it  is 
made  use  of  not  only  by  him,  but  by  his  vassal,  the  king  of 
Cho-sen,  and  by  his  rival  the  mikado  of  Japan.  Hence  the  sig- 
nificance of  the  trio  of  these  sacred  jewels  on  ornaments  and 
instruments  belonging  to  the  royal  family,  whether  embroidered 
on  the  robes  of  state  worn  by  the  king,  surmounting  the  large 
drum  of  his  musicians,  or  glistening  in  golden  embroidery  on  the 
banners  of  his  body-guard.  The  "dragon  robe  "  and  "dragon's 
bed,"  "dragon  standard,"  refer  to  the  mantle,  throne,  and  flag  of 
the  king.  In  the  popular  speech,  whatever  is  most  excellent  is 
compared  to  a  dragon.  A  "  dragon-child  "  is  a  paragon,  a  "  dragon 
horse"  is  one  of  extraordinary  speed.  When  "the  fish  has 
been  metamorphosed  into  the  dragon,"  some  happy  change  or 
promotion  has  taken  place — the  student-competitor  has  received 
his  degree  of  doctorate,  or  the  office-holder  has  been  told  by 
royal  appointemnt  to  "  come  up  higher." 


The  kirin  (kilin  or  lin)  is  another  of  the  four  supernatural 
(Teatures  of  Chinese  philosophy  and  mythology,  believed  in  by 
ihe  Coreans,  and  depicted  in  Corean  art  especially  as  a  sym- 
bol of  peace  and  joy,  and  on  articles  used  on  auspicious  and 
happy  occasions.  This  beast,  which  to  the  Corean  is  a  "  living 
creature,"  has  the  body  of  a  deer  and  the  tail  of  an  ox,  usually 
highly  curled  and  twisted  in  a  manner  to  suggest  the  work  of  a 
hair-dresser.  On  its  forehead  is  a  single  soft  horn.  It  is  said 
never  to  tread  on  or  injure  any  living  being.  It  is  the  emblem  of 
perfect  rectitude,  and  the  incarnate  essence  of  the  five  primordial 
<  lements  of  all  things,  viz. :  water,  fire,  wood,  metal,  earth.  It 
is  considered  the  noblest  form  of  the  animal  creation.  Its  appear- 
ance on  the  earth  is  ever  regarded  as  a  happy  omen,  as  the  har- 
binger of  good  government  and  the  birth  of  good  rulers.  Hence 
the  wealth  of  association  to  the  Oriental  mind  in  the  kirin.  The 
i aale  beast  is  called  ki  and  the  female  rin  or  lin.  The  two  words 
combined  form  the  general  term  kirin. 

The  tortoise  is  the  centre  of  a  great  circle  of  pleasing  supersti- 
tions, and  hence  is  one  of  the  set  of  symbols  oftenest  employed /in 
Corean  art.  The  practice  of  divination  is  mostly  associated  with 
tortoise-shell,  the  figuring  of  a  tortoise's  back  having  a  mystic  sig- 
nification. In  Chinese  legend  a  divine  tortoise  emerged  from  the 
Yellow  Kiver,  on  the  shell  of  which  a  sage  discovered  the  system  of 
numerals,  and  thus  obtained  the  foundation  of  mathematics  and  the 
rudiments  of  philosophy.  This  tortoise  was  said  to  be  the  embodi- 
ment of  the  star  in  Ursa  Major,  and  the  progenitor  of  all  the  tortoise 
tribe.  It  can  transform  itself  into  other  forms  of  life  and  lives  to  the 
age  of  ten  thousand  years.  Hence  it  is  the  symbol  of  long  life.  It  is 
s  dd  to  conceive  by  thought  alone.  There  are  said  to  be  ten  kinds 
of  tortoises,  one  of  them  being  half  dragon,  half  tortoise,  and  with 
a  tail  like  a  fringe  of  silver.  This  is  the  attendant  of  the  god  of 
\\  aters,  and  hence  is  often  used  as  the  top  of  a  well.  The  tortoise 
is  also  the  symbol  of  immortality  and  strength,  hence  is  often 
used  over  walls  and  places  of  entrance.  Many  Corean  gateways 
are  surmounted  with  huge  tortoises  sculptured  in  stone.  The  same 
idea  is  expressed  in  making  the  representations  of  this  creature,, 
cut  from  a  single  rock,  the  base  for  monumental  tablets  set  into 
its  back.  The  great  seal  of  state,  the  regalia  of  sovereignty  in 
Cho-sen,  has  the  form  of  a  tortoise.  The  phoenix  is  also  repre- 
sented as  standing  upon  a  tortoise.  Closely  connected  with  the 
Hindoo  idea  of  the  world  resting  on  an  elephant  which  stands  on 

304  COREA. 

a  tortoise,  is  the  Chinese  idea  of  "  supporting  the  earth  with  the 
feet  of  a  tortoise."  A  common  idea  in  Cho-sen,  as  in  China,  is 
the  huge  tortoise  which  supports  mountains  on  its  back,  and 
having  a  shell  which  is  one  thousand  leagues  in  circumference. 

The  phoenix  (fung-wang  or  howo),  like  the  kirin,  appears  on 
the  earth  at  or  near  the  birth  of  a  good  ruler,  and  hence  is 
the  emblem  of  peace  and  good  government.  The  male  is  called 
fung,  or  ho,  and  the  female  ivang,  or  wo,  hence  the  generic  name 
fung-wang  or  howo.  In  its  marvellous  plumage  the  sheen  of  the 
five  colors  may  be  descried,  each  of  which  is  typical  of  the  five 
cardinal  virtues.  In  figure  it  seems  to  be  an  ideal  combination 
of  the  peacock  and  the  golden  pheasant,  but  with  feathers  won- 
drously  curled  and  made  into  ringlets.  It  is  not  only  a  symbol  of 
auspicious  government,  but  of  inseparable  fellowship,  and  many 
stanzas  of  poetry  refer  to  it  as  typical  of  courtship  and  conjugal 
love.  In  its  voice  are  many  intonations,  to  each  of  which  a  name 
is  given.  For  this  reason  it  is  a  favorite  element  in  the  decoration 
of  musical  instruments. 

Another  symbol  often  used  is  the  Chinese  lion,  with  marvel- 
lously curled  hair  and  mane.  Every  tuft  is  a  mass  of  fanciful  ring- 
lets, and  the  beast  is  so  pictured  as  to  make  a  masterpiece  of 
ugliness  and  terror.  The  dog  of  the  breed  called  ngao,  so  named 
after  the  earth-supporting  tortoise,  is  also  liberally  furnished  with 
tooth,  nail,  and  hair.  It  usually  cuts  the  figure  of  guardian  on  the 
edge  or  lid  of  vessels  in  which  are  kept  treasures  which,  because 
they  tempt  the  palate,  tempt  also  the  fingers  that  lift  to  the 
mouth.  The  marvellous  creature  called  the  Dog  of  Fo,  or  Bud- 
dha, usually  associated  with  Chinese-Buddhist  art,  is  believed  to 
be  of  Corean  origin.  Jacquemart  calls  it  the  "  Dog  of  Corea." 

Other  mythical  creatures  that  have  their  existence  in  the  Co- 
rean imagination  are  in  the  form  of  fishes  and  serpents.  The  in-e 
(fish-man  or  merman)  is  a  sort  of  siren  that  is  supposed  to  inhabit 
the  Sea  of  Japan  and  the  Eastern  Sea,  but  whether  partly  fabulous 
or  entirely  real,  we  are  unable  to  say.  It  is  six  or  seven  feet  long, 
and  in  its  head  and  body  resembles  a  human  being,  as  its  nose, 
mouth,  ears,  and  arms,  or  flippers,  are  covered  with  white  skin 
without  scales.  It  has  a  long  and  slender  tail,  like  that  of  a  horse. 
It  suckles  its  young,  and  sheds  tears  when  its  offspring  are  cap- 
tured. It  is  probable  that  this  creature,  though  called  a  fish- 
man  by  the  Coreans,  is  the  animal  of  which  we  read,  in  several 
instances,  being  presented  to  the  Manchiu  emperors  in  Peking. 



One  of  them  inquired  whether  such  a  creature  was  known  in 
Europe,  and  the  Jesuit  friar,  producing  a  book,  showed  an  engrav- 
ing of  one  similar.  Perhaps  this  "  fish-man "  is  the  same  as  a 
reported  "  dog-fish  or  shark,"  living  in  the  seas  around  Quelpart, 
whose  tears  produce  pearls. 

The  i-sium,  a  colossal  marine  creature,  is  purely  imaginary, 
like  the  "  earthquake-fish  "  of  the  Japanese,  which  causes  the  con- 
tinent to  shake.  The  word  is  pure  Corean,  and  may  answer  to  our 
symbol  of  vastness  and  uncertainty 
— the  sea-serpent.  Mr.  Fergusson 
would  doubtless  find  a  new  chapter 
for  his  "Tree  and  Serpent  Worship" 
in  Cho-sen,  for,  in  the  peninsula,  not 
only  are  trees  reverenced  as  the  abode 
of  spirits,  but  the  sa,  or  snakes,  are 
rarely,  if  ever,  harmed.  The  people 
feed,  venerate,  and  even  worship  them 
as  the  guardian  genii  of  their  house- 
holds. The  epkuron-gi  (a  pure  Cor- 
ean word)  is  the  name  by  which  they 
call  the  serpent  which  presides  over 
their  family  Edens.  Instead  of  being 
looked  upon  as  the  embodiment  of 
the  principle  of  evil,  as  in  Semitic  lore, 
their  presence  is  hailed  as  an  omen 
of  llessing.  They  are  treated  like 
pets.  In  their  heads  they  are  be- 
lieved to  carry  a  precious  jewel  after 
they  have  lived  long.  A  serpent  often 
lives  to  be  one  thousand  years  old, 
and  then  bears  in  his  front  a  glisten- 
ing gem,  called  ya-kang-chiu,  which 
nam<;  the  people  also  apply  to  any 

glittering  stone,  especially  the  diamond.  The  guardian  serpent 
is  represented  as  double-winged,  with  forked  tongue,  long  and 
darting,  flying  among  the  clouds  and  protecting  its  worshippers 
by  p  irsuing  their  enemies.  The  illustration  here  given  is  copied 
from  one  of  the  war-flags  carried  by  the  Corean  mountaineers  from 
their  homes  to  the  forts  on  the  Han  River,  in  1871.  The  staff  is 
tipped  with  pheasant-feathers  and  horse-hair. 

Their  fear  of  the  serpent  is  the  basis  of  their  worship,  and  tho 

Battle-flag  Captured  by  the  Americans 
in  1871. 

306  COREA. 

average  Corean  does  not  fail  to  take  due  precaution  to  guard 
against  its  sting.  In  addition  to  the  ordinary  osa  or  black  snake, 
there  is  the  venomous  viper,  salmo,  which  "  kills  its  mother  at 
birth."  Its  bite  is  considered  exceedingly  dangerous.  The  tai- 
mang  is  a  great  serpent.  The  flower  called  kiuk-sa-wa  (snake- 
bane),  or  Eye  of  India,  is  believed  by  Coreans  to  keep  away  the 
reptiles,  and  hence  is  highly  valued. 

Hamel  and  the  French  missionaries  agree  in  picturing  Corea 
as  a  land  well  supplied  with  reptiles,  serpents,  and  vermin  of  all 
sorts,  and  testify  to  the  veneration  of  them  by  the  people.  In 
the  folk-lore  of  the  country,  the  beasts  play  a  conspicuous  part. 

Another  creature  to  whom  wings  rightfully  belong  is  the  gin-sai. 
This  fabulous  bird  is  capable  of  diffusing  so  venomous  an  influ- 
ence that  even  its  shadow  poisons  food. 

Even  the  brief  list  of  creatures  which  we  have  enumerated 
does  not  exhaust  the  list  of  the  beings  which  are  real  and  active 
to  the  imagination  of  the  people.  Science  and  Christianity  are 
the  remedies  for  this  delirium  tremens  of  paganism. 

The  ancient  and  still  lingering  belief  in  the  powers  of  the  air 
and  all  the  creatures  therein,  visible  and  invisible,  is  reflected  on 
their  triangular  and  streamer-shaped  war-banners.  They  believe 
that  all  these  creatures  and  all  the  forces  of  nature  are  under  the 
control  of  the  spirits,  who  will  give  or  withhold  sunshine  or  rain, 
send  blasting  mildew  and  pestilence,  or  fertility,  plenty  and  joy, 
according  as  they  are  pleased  or  displeased. 

It  will  be  seen  at  once  what  a  soil  the  demagogue  has  for  sow- 
ing dragons'  teeth,  and  what  frightful  popular  commotion  may  be 
stirred  up  by  playing  upon  the  fears  of  the  populace.  The  most 
recent  illustration  of  this  is  seen  in  the  frightful  massacre  of  the 
ministers  and  the  Japanese,  in  July,  1882.  The  long  drought 
having  ruined  the  rice  crop,  the  leaders  of  the  anti-foreign  faction 
persuaded  the  common  people  that  the  spirits  were  annoyed  at  the 
introduction  of  foreigners,  and  therefore  withheld  the  rain.  In  this 
belief  they  were  strengthened  from  the  fact  that  it  rained  heavily 
for  many  hours  after  the  Japanese  had  been  driven  out  of  Seoul 



IT  is  not  difficult  to  appreciate  or  understand  the  history  of 
people  whose  psychology  is  our  own.  We  seem  to  look  through 
white  light  in  gazing  at  their  past  as  told  in  the  words  of  a  lan- 
guage that  grew  in  the  same  mental  sunlight  with  our  own.  In 
eating  fruit  that  grows  on  familiar  intellectual  soil,  we  may  some- 
times recognize  a  slightly  strange  flavor,  but  the  pulp  is  good  food 
which  our  mental  stomach  does  not  reject,  but  readily  assimilates. 
Truth,  like  the  moon,  usually  presents  one  side  only,  but  the  mass 
of  mankind  do  not  think  of  this,  even  if  they  know  it.  They  go 
on  blissfully  imagining  they  have  seen  all  sides,  even  the  full  orb. 

With  the  history  of  the  Aryan  nations  we  are  familiar,  and 
think  it  is  clear  to  us.  We  insist  that  we  know  we  can  understand 
what  they  did  and  that  their  thoughts  need  no  translation  to  us. 

A.  visitor  at  the  American  Centennial,  or  any  exposition  of  the 
industry  of  all  nations,  sees  before  him  for  comparative  study  the 
art,  symbols  of  religion,  architecture,  implements  of  domestic  life, 
and  all  the  outward  expressions  of  inward  ideas.  They  are  the 
clothed  or  concrete  soul  of  man  under  the  varied  civilizations  of 
this  planet.  Standing  before  the  exhibits  of  India — the  home  of 
the  Aryan  nations — the  man  of  Western  Christendom,  as  his 
mind's  eye  surveys  the  vastness  of  difference  between  him  and  the 
Hindoo,  is  yet  able  to  bridge  the  gulf.  The  researches  into  lan- 
guage, art,  myths,  folk-lore,  show  him  that  the  infancy  of  the  two 
races  was  the  same,  and  that  modern  differences  are  impertinent 
accidents.  At  bottom  the  Aryan  and  the  Hindoo  are  brothers. 

No  such  reconciliation  of  ideas  is  yet  demonstrable  between 
the  Mongolian  and  the  Aryan.  Before  the  art,  symbols,  ideas, 
literature,  language,  and  physical  presence  of  the  man  of  Cathay, 
no  bridging  of  the  gulf  seems  yet  possible.  He  appears  to  be  a 
man  of  another  planet  Language  gives  as  yet  little  clue  to  a 
common  origin  ;  art  and  symbol  seem  at  the  other  pole,  and  in 

308  COREA. 

psychology  the  difference  at  present  seems  total  and  irrecon- 

Hence,  to  attempt  to  write  the  history  of  a  Turanian  people  by 
simply  narrating  bald  facts  in  an  occidental  language,  seems  to  be 
but  putting  another  white  skeleton  in  the  museum  of  nations. 
Even  the  attempt,  by  a  purely  destructive  method  of  criticism,  to 
manufacture  a  body,  or  corpse,  rather,  of  history,  by  hacking 
away  all  legend  and  tradition  to  get  out  what  the  critic  is  pleased 
to  call  "  history,"  seems  at  once  unnatural  and  false.  It  is  like 
attempting  to  correlate  the  genius  of  Shakspeare  with  ounces  of 
beef  and  cheese,  or  to  measure  the  market  value  of  poetry  by 
avoirdupois.  A  history  of  an  Asiatic  people  ought  to  be  as  much 
a  history  of  mind,  of  psychology,  as  of  facts  or  dynasties.  Hence, 
in  writing  of  a  new  and  almost  unknown  people  like  the  Coreans, 
we  think  it  as  important  to  tell  what  they  believe  to  have  hap- 
pened, as  to  attempt  to  state  what  we  think  actually  did  happen. 
To  understand  a  people  we  must  know  their  thoughts,  as  well  as 
their  physical  environment. 

According  to  Corean  tradition,  the  origin  of  their  country  and 
people  is  thus  outlined : 

Of  old  the  land  had  neither  prince  nor  chiefs.  A  Divine  Being 
descended  from  heaven  and  took  up  his  abode  at  the  foot  of  a 
sandal-wood  tree  on  the  Ever- White  Mountains.  The  people  of 
the  land  became  his  subjects,  made  him  their  sovereign  and  called 
him  Dan  Kun  (the  Sandal  Prince),  and  his  realm  Cho-sen  (Morn- 
ing Calm).  This  took  place  in  the  time  of  Tang  Ti  Yao  (2356 
B.C.).  His  first  residence  was  at  Ping-an.  Later  he  transferred  it 
to  Pe-yo,  where  his  descendants  remained  till  the  eighth  year  of 
the  emperor  Wu  Ting  of  the  Chang  dynasty  (1317  B.C.),  when 
they  were  established  in  Mount  Asstak.  His  descendants  reigned 
in  Cho-sen  more  than  one  thousand  years,  but  nothing  more  is 
known  of  them  after  the  period  covered  by  their  reign.  Then  fol- 
lowed the  occupation  of  the  country  by  the  Chinese  noble  Ki  Tsze. 

The  mythical  origin  and  founding  of  Shinra  is  thus  told  in  the 
local  legends  of  the  place.  After  the  invasion  of  Cho-sen,  by  the 
Chinese  emperor,  many  of  the  original  inhabitants  fled  and  scat- 
tered over  the  east  coast.  They  made  settlements  on  the  moun- 
tains, in  the  valleys,  and  along  the  sea-shore,  some  of  which  in 
time  grew  to  be  cities  and  large  towns.  One  day  the  attention  of 
the  head  man  of  one  of  the  villages  was  attracted  by  the  neighing 
of  horses  toward  a  mountain.  He  went  in  the  direction  of  the 


sounds,  but  instead  of  a  horse  he  found  an  egg  of  extraordinary 
size,  shaped  like  a  gourd.  Carefully  breaking  it  open,  he  discov- 
ered a  beautiful  rosy  boy-baby  inside.  The  old  man's  heart  was 
touched  by  the  sight,  and  he  took  the  child  to  his  home  and 
adopted  it  as  his  own.  The  boy  grew  up  beloved  of  all  who  saw 
or  knew  him.  When  but  thirteen  years  old,  the  elders  of  the  six 
principal  towns  gathered  together  and  chose  him  as  their  lord 
and  master.  They  gave  him  a  name  signifying  "  Coming  Out  of 
the  West,"  and  to  the  country  a  name  meaning  "Born  of  the 
Gourd-egg."  The  new  king  took  to  wife  a  fair  maiden  who  was 
reputed  to  be  the  offspring  of  a  well-dragon.  They  reigned  for 
sixty  years,  when  their  daughter  succeeded  to  the  throne. 

In  the  fifth  year  of  her  reign  she  married  a  youth  who  had 
come  from  afar,  whose  origin  was  as  wonderful  as  that  of  her  own 
parents.  His  mother  the  queen  had  been  delivered  of  an  egg. 
Her  husband,  not  enjoying  such  a  form  of  offspring,  threw  the  egg 
away,  but  the  queen  recovering  it,  carefully  wrapped  it  in  a  silk 
napkin,  and  with  many  other  treasures  put  it  in  a  box  and  set  it 
adrift  on  the  sea.  After  many  days  the  box  was  washed  ashore  on 
a  distant  coast.  The  fishermen  who  picked  it  up  in  their  nets 
thought  nothing  of  it,  and  threw  it  into  the  sea  again.  It  drifted 
into  one  of  the  harbors  of  Shinra.  An  old  woman  finding  it, 
opened  the  lid  and  found  a  lovely  boy  with  a  smile  on  his  face. 
Carefully  nourishing  him,  he  grew  up  to  be  a  man  of  strength, 
nine,  feet  high.  He  excelled  all  other  youths  in  bodily  vigor  and 
accomplishments.  When  the  old  woman  first  picked  up  the  waif, 
there  were  a  number  of  crows  standing  around  the  shore,  and  the 
crone  gave  him  a  name  referring  to  the  presence  of  these  birds — - 
"  Opened  in  Presence  of  the  Crows."  Excelling  in  the  knowl- 
edge of  geomancy,  he  found  a  good  place  for  a  residence  and 
built  on  it.  Hearing  of  his  renown,  the  queen  of  Shinra  married 
him  to  her  daughter. 

One  evening  the  newly  made  king  heard  a  cock  crow  in  the 
woods  toward  the  west.  He  sent  his  servants  after  it,  who  found 
a  small  golden  casket  suspended  from  a  tree.  Under  it  a  white 
cock  was  crowing.  The  servant  reported  the  matter  to  his  master. 
Another  servant  was  despatched  to  the  place.  He  returned  with 
the  box,  which,  being  opened,  was  found  to  contain  a  boy  baby, 
who  was  given  the  name  signifying  "  The  Golden  Boy  from  the 
Grove  in  which  the  Cock  crowed."  The  baby  boy  grew  up  and 
succeeded  his  father.  In  the  reign  of  the  twenty-second  king  of 

310  COREA. 

the  line,  the  people  of  the  country,  then  called  Shin-han,  changed 
the  name  of  their  country  to  Shinra. 

In  the  "  Grammaire  Coreene  "  there  are  a  number  of  speci- 
mens of  folk-lore  given  in  Corean  and  French,  from  which  we 
extract  a  few  of  the  most  characteristic.  The  first  one  is  an  illus- 
tration of  our  universal  human  nature. 


There  were  once  two  old  married  folks  who  had  not  a  single  child,  boy  or 
girl.  Extremely  poor,  they  lived  a  pitiable  life.  One  evening,  when  it  was 
very  cold  in  winter,  after  having  supped,  they  gazed  into  the  fire  in  the  bra- 
zier, and  sitting  in  their  room  face  to  face  they  warmed  themselves  a  moment 
in  silence,  when  the  good  old  man  thus  spoke : 

"  For  the  rich  the  winter  is  an  excellent  season  ;  their  food  is  prepared  in. 
advance.  Having  no  toil  they  have  only  to  take  their  ease.  But  for  the  poor, 
it  is  a  rough  time  when  they  have  neither  food  for  the  mouth  nor  fuel.  If 
they  go  out  over  the  mountain  through  the  rain  or  the  snow  to  seek  wood,  they 
die  of  cold  or  frost." 

The  good  dame  replied  :  "  They  say  that  Heaven  is  just.  Why  then  does 
he  permit  this  ?  They  say,  besides,  that  when  you  pray  to  Heaven,  it  is  easy 
to  obtain  that  which  you  need.  If  we  ask  to  become  rich — "  said  she. 

"  You  are  right,  do  so,"  replied  the  husband. 

And  both  prostrating  themselves,  prayed  fervently  to  the  Deity,  when  sud- 
denly an  angel  appeared. 

"In  spite  of  your  sin  of  murmuring,  Heaven  having  pitied  you,  accords 
you  three  things,  after  which  you  can  ask  no  more.  Reflect  well,  choose,  and 
ask. "  Saying  this  he  disappeared. 

The  old  man  made  this  proposition:  "If  we  ask  riches,  freedom  from 
sickness,  or  long  life—" 

"No,"  said  the  old  woman,  "  we  should  not  enjoy  these  things  properly  if 
we  do  not  have  a  child.  What  pleasure  will  it  be  ?  " 

"Hold  !  I  have  not  asked.  What  shall  I  do  ?  If  he  had  only  said  four 
things  at  the  good  moment !  Why  did  he  say  only  three  ?  Since  we  wish  to 
have  a  child,  must  we  forego  freedom  from  sickness,  must  we  renounce  riches, 
must  we  give  up  long  life  ?  It  is  hard  to  decide.  Think,  then,  seriously  this 
night,  and  decide  to-morrow." 

Breaking  off  their  conversation,  both  sat  plunged  in  reverie.  At  the  mo- 
ment of  lying  down  to  sleep,  the  old  woman,  stirring  up  the  fire  with  the 
tongs,  launched  out  with  this  reflection,  "If  we  could  have  three  or  four  feet 
of  pudding  to  set  to  toast  on  this  brazier,  that  would  be  royally  excellent." 

She  spoke,  and  there  was  three  feet  of  food  placed  by  her  side. 

The  husband,  beside  himself  with  rage,  screamed  out — 

"  Oh !  what  a  woman  !  By  one  stroke  you  have  lost  all  our  benefits.  To 
punish  you  I  wish  the  pudding  would  hang  itself  on  the  point  of  your  nose." 

Immediately  the  pudding  made  a  leap  and  attached  itself  to  the  old  dame's 


At  this  the  husband  cried  out,  "Hello!  Angry  as  I  am,  I  have  also  by 
mj  fault  lost  a  wish. "  Seizing  the  sausage  to  detach  it,  they  pulled,  first  one, 
then  the  other,  almost  dislocating  the  nose,  but  the  sausage  held  on. 

"Alas!  "  said  the  woman  in  tears,  "if  this  is  always  to  remain  hanging 
here,  how  can  I  live .?  " 

The  husband,  on  the  contrary,  without  being  at  all  disturbed,  said,  "If 
even  yet  our  wish  of  fortune  is  fulfilled,  we  could  make  a  tube  of  gold  to  hide 
thi  5  sausage,  and  then  drawing  it  out  at  length,  it  will  be  only  more  beautiful 
to  .see." 

The  wife,  still  more  miserable,  cried  out,  "Oh,  wretched  me,  only  to 
think  that  fortune  should  wish  to  put  it  there.  Well!  whether  you  be  rich 
or  .ive  long,  as  for  me,  I  should  like  to  kill  myself." 

Saying;  this  she  took  a  cord  and  went  to  strangle  herself  at  the  end  of  a 
be*  m.  The  husband,  struck  with  fear,  and  touched  with  compassion,  hastened 
to  set  her  free. 

"Stop,  "said  he,  "there  remains  one  wish  to  us.  Have  your  own  way 
about  it." 

"If  that  is  so,  I  wish  that  what  hangs  to  my  nose  comes  loose.  Quick, 
quick,  that  it  may  go  swift  away.  That  is  my  chief  wish." 

She  had  hardly  finished  speaking  when  the  sausage  fell  plump  to  the 
gro  and,  and  out  of  the  midst  of  the  heaven  an  angry  voice  was  heard : 

"You  have  obtained  the  three  things  which  you  wished  for,  and  have  you 
gained  a  great  advantage  ?  If  you  wish  to  enjoy  true  blessing  in  this  world 
be  content  to  live  with  what  Heaven  gives,  and  do  not  form  vain  desires. " 

The  two  old  folks  spitted  the  pudding,  ate  it,  and  from  this  night  they 
abstained  from  foolish  wishes. 

On  the  morrow,  agreeably  to  their  supreme  ambition,  which  was  to  have  a 
bal>y,  they  found  a  little  fatherless  and  motherless  orphan.  Having  adopted 
it  as  their  child,  they  gave  him  a  good  education  and  lived  happily  to  extreme 
old  age. 

The  following  illustrates  official  shrewdness  and  rapacity : 


In  the  chief  city  of  Chulla,  there  was  a  politician  who  was  in  debt  to  the 
government  to  the  amount  of  ten  thousand  strings  of  cash.  Unable  to  pay 
the  same,  he  was  condemned  to  death.  Cast  into  prison,  he  awaited  only 
the  orders  of  the  king  to  carry  out  the  sentence.  As  he  had  thought  hard  with- 
out discovering  any  means  to  get  out  of  the  affair,  he  bethought  himself  of  a 
str:  tagem.  So,  addressing  the  jailer,  he  said : 

"  Helloa !  you  there,  you'll  do  well  to  let  me  go  free  a  little  while." 

"  Helloa !  "  answered  the  jailer,  "  what  wretched  talk  !  After  I  have  set  free 
a  n  an  who  ought  to  be  put  to  death  to-morrow  or  day  after  to-morrow,  what 
shall /do?" 

The  prisoner  replied,  "  Are  we  not  friends  both  of  us  ?  If  you  do  not  let 
me  go,  who  can  save  my  life?  Think  over  it  a  little  and  see.  My  wife,  my 
chi  dren,  my  house,  all  I  have,  all  my  relations  and  friends  being  here,  where 

312  COfcEA. 

shall  I  fly  ?    If  you  set  me  at  liberty  for  some  moments  not  only  will  I  not  ab- 
scond but  there  will  be  found  means  for  preserving  my  life  safely.     Do  so. " 

As  he  thus  besought  him  eagerly,  the  jailer,  struck  with  compassion, 
could  not  do  otherwise  than  let  him  go. 

So  at  midnight  he  presented  himself  before  the  door  of  the  room  where 
the  governor  slept,  and  thus  addressed  him. 

"  Are  you  asleep  ?    Is  your  excellency  sleeping  ?  " 

Hearing  the  sound  and  astonished  at  recognizing  the  voice  of  the  officer  who 
had  been  cast  into  prison  and  was  to  be  executed  in  a  short  time,  the  gov- 
ernor asked. 

"Who  are  you?" 

"Your  servant,"  answered  the  officer. 

"  A  scoundrel  who  is  at  the  point  of  being  executed,  how  is  it  you  are  here  ? " 

"If  I  may  be  allowed  to  enter  to  salute  you,"  said  the  officer,  "I  have 
something  particular  to  say  to  you. " 

"Oh,  well,  come  in  and  speak." 

The  officer  entering,  approached,  sat  down,  and  said  : 

"I  pray  your  excellency  to  reflect  and  consider  my  purpose.  If  you  put 
your  servant  to  death  this  will  be  simply  one  man  of  means  less  in  the  world, 
and  the  money 'I  owe  will  be  lost  to  the  government.  What  advantage  will 
you  thus  derive?  If,  on  the  contrary,  you  preserve  my  life  there  will  be  one 
man  more  in  the  world,  and  I  shall  repay  the  whole  of  my  debt  to  the  govern- 
ment. Let  me  then  live." 

"  If  it  ought  to  be  so  I  wish  you  well  in  the  matter." 

"  Your  servant  will  come  again,  then,  to-morrow,  during  the  night,  to  see 

"Do  as  you  will." 

The  morrow  during  the  night  the  officer  presented  himself  anew  and  asked 
to  be  introduced.  Approaching  he  made  the  prostrations  before  the  governor, 
drew  from  his  sleeve  a  packet  which  he  undid  and  took  out  a  sketch  represent- 
ing a  human  nose.  He  immediately  besought  the  governor  to  please  put  his 
seal  upon  the  sketch. 

Agreeing  to  the  proposal  the  governor  imposed  his  seal. 

The  officer  now  associated  three  companions  who  were  in  the  plot,  and  they 
all  assembled  upon  the  coast  of  the  Eastern  Sea,  where  theyfound  a  populous 
village,  in  the  midst  of  which  rose  a  high  and  grand  mansion.  Taking  their 
drink  of  spirits  at  a  hotel  in  the  suburbs  of  the  next  village  beyond,  they  pre- 
pared to  sup.  Addressing  their  host  they  put  this  question  : 

"What  is  the  name  of  the  village  which  is  just  behind  us?  Whose  is  the 
largest  house?" 

The  inn-keeper  answered,  "  That  is  the  house  of  a  very  rich  noble.  Last 
year  he  received  the  degree  of  the  doctorate  and  is  eligible  to  fill  very  soon  a 
very  high  position  under  the  government." 

The  officer  taking  with  him  one  of  his  comrades  repaired  to  the  mansion, 
where,  as  he  noticed,  everything  showed  abundant  means,  and  thus  spoke  to 
the  son, 

"As  we  have  a  secret  affair  to  treat  of,  let  us  go  into  another  room,"  said 
the  officer. 


They  did  so.  "See  here,  the  king  is  very  sick,  and  they  have  called  all 
the  physicians  from  all  the  eight  provinces  for  a  consultation.  They  have  de- 
clared that  the  only  means  to  obtain  healing  is  to  find  the  nose  of  a  man  just 
like  this,  and  to  concoct  a  remedy  from  it.  This  is  why  we  have  been  com- 
m  mded  by  the  Court,  where  they  have  said  to  us,  putting  in  our  hand  this 
sketch  of  the  nose.  'Without  distinction  of  place  or  person  if  you  meet  a  nose 
similar  to  this,  strike  it  off  and  produce  it  before  us  in  this  place.'  Obeying 
this  severe  order  we  have  been  out  many  times  without  being  able  to  find  a 
nose  conforming  to  the  sketch,  and  thus  far  have  made  useless  journeys,  but 
now,  without  peradventure,  your  honorable  father's  nose  exactly  resembles 
th  s.  We  demand  to  see  him,  and  wherever  he  may  be  we  shall  not  depart  till 
we  have  cut  it  off." 

The  son  cried  out:  "  Perhaps  they  do  say  such  things  !  " 

"Who  dare  oppose  the  government  business?  Hurry,  hurry,  strike  it  off 
an  I  we'll  go." 

The  son  fell  into  a  study  and  reflected. 

"  It  is  an  affair  of  state.  This  is  a  matter  which  we  cannot  prevent.  Cut 
it  off,  they  say,  but  to  cut  off  the  nose  of  my  old  father,  that  is  altogether  im- 
po.ssible.  The  entire  family,  men,  women,  young  and  old,  every  one  will  be 
plunged  into  woe.  You  can  bear  away  the  half  of  our  fortune  at  least,  if  you 
wi:l  go  away  without  taking  my  father's  nose." 

The  officer  replied,  "  We  had  proposed  to  ourselves  to  depart  only  after 
having  cut  off  the  nose.  However,  as  this  is  a  matter  of  a  son  devoted  to  his 
f  at  ler,  and  that  they  may  not  repress  filial  piety  in  others,  we  shall  not  cut  off 
the  nose.  If  you  will  give  us  a  certain  sum  we  will  go  elsewhere  to  procure  a 
no&e  which  we  shall  present  to  the  king." 

He  accepted  with  thanks  a  sum  equal  to  many  times  ten  thousand  strings 
of  i  <ash,  for  which  he  gave  a  receipt,  told  the  sender  of  the  money  such  a  day, 
such  a  place,  and  on  leaving  offered  this  recommendation  : 

"Upon  the  whole,  say  nothing  of  this  affair.  If  it  should  leak  out,  and 
the  government  comes  to  know  that  having  found  a  proper  nose  we  have  been 
brioed  not  to  cut  it  off,  we  shall  be  arrested  and  put  to  death,  they  will  cer- 
tainly cut  off  your  father's  nose  and  take  your  money  also.  Pray  then  be  care- 
ful not  to  divulge  this  secret. "  Upon  this  they  took  their  leave. 

Overjoyed  at  not  having  his  parent's  nose  amputated,  but  believing  that  the 
kin?  on  being  informed  would  send  again  on  this  business,  the  son  dared  let 
no  me  know  until  the  day  of  his  father's  death.  Then  breaking  the  silence 
he  said,  "I  have  bought  my  father's  nose  for thousand  strings  of  cash." 

The  story  here  told  explains  itself.  Cheng-chong  was  the  Har- 
ouu  al  Easchid  of  Corea. 


There  was  in  Cho-sen  a  king  called  His  Majesty  Cheng-chong,  who  was  eel' 
ebn  ted  in  all  the  kingdom  for  his  goodness.  One  night,  disguised  as  a  coun- 
tryman, and  accompanied  only  by  a  single  companion,  he  started  out  from  the 
mid  st  of  the  capital  to  make  a  circuit  in  order  to  inform  himself  of  the  temper 
of  h  is  subjects,  and  to  become  himself  acquainted  with  the  details  of  their  life. 

314  COREA, 

Arrived  at  a  certain  point  he  looked  in  the  window.  There  was  a  miser* 
able  house,  of  which  the  outer  dilapidation,  extremely  pitiable  as  it  was,  led 
him  to  suspect  in  the  interior  a  state  of  things  difficult  to  imagine.  Eagerly 
wishing  to  know  what  it  was,  he  punched  a  peep-hole  in  the  paper  door  and 
perceived  an  old  man  weeping,  a  man  in  mourning  singing,  and  a  nun  or 
widow  dancing.  Unable  to  divine  the  cause  of  this  spectacle,  he  ordered  his 
companion  to  call  the  master  of  the  house.  The  king's  servant  doing  so,  said : 

"  Is  the  proprietor  of  the  house  at  home  ?  " 

Hearing  this  voice  the  man  in  mourning  made  his  appearance.  His  Majesty 
saluting  him  said  : 

"  We  have  never  before  met." 

"  True,"  said  the  man  in  mourning,  "but  whence  are  you  ?  How  is  it  that 
you  should  come  to  find  me  at  midnight  ?  To  what  family  do  you  belong  ?  " 

Cheng-chong  answered,  "  I  am  Mr.  Ni,  living  at  Tong-ku-an.  As  I  was 
passing  before  your  house,  I  was  attracted  by  strange  sounds.  Then  by  a  hole 
which  I  made  in  the  door,  I  saw  an  old  man  weeping,  a  nun  who  danced,  and 
a  gentleman  in  mourning  who  sang.  Why  did  the  old  man  shed  tears,  the  nun 
dance,  and  the  man  in  mourning  sing  ?  Unable  to  fathom  the  motive  I  have 
made  my  friend  call  the  householder  with  the  purpose  of  informing  myself." 

The  man  in  mourning  rejoined,  "  Have  you  any  business  to  know  other 
people's  matters  ?  What  is  your  reason  for  acting  thus  when  it  concerns  you 
so  little  ?  The  night  is  well  gone.  Get  back  as  quickly  as  possible." 

"  No,  not  at  all.  I  acknowledge  that  it  is  not  becoming  to  pry  into  the  af- 
fairs of  others,  but  this  is  such  an  extraordinary  case  I  beg  of  you  give  me 
some  light  on  the  matter." 

"Alas!"  said  the  man  in  mourning,  "why  is  the  gentleman  so  eager  to 
know  other  people's  matters  ?  " 

Cheng-chong  replied,  "  It  is  important  that  I  should  be  somewhat  informed. " 

"  Since  the  gentleman  wishes  so  much  to  know,  I  cannot  do  other  than  tell. 
This  is  why.  My  family  has  always  been  poor.  In  my  hut  one  could  never 
find  sufficient  grain  for  a  meal  and  one  flea  would  not  have  enough  room  upon 
my  land  to  squat  upon.  I  have  no  victuals  for  my  old  father.  This  is  why, 
morning  and  evening,  in  default  of  all  other  resource,  my  wife  has  often  cut 
off  a  tress  of  her  hair  and  gone  and  sold  it  to  buy  a  cup  of  bean-soup,  which 
she  graciously  offers  to  my  father.  This  evening  she  clipped  and  sold  all  of 
her  hair  that  remained,  and  by  this  she  has  become  bare-headed  like  a  nun. 
My  old  father,  seeing  that  for  his  sake  his  young  daughter-in-law  has  become 
a  nun,  broke  out  into  mourning  in  these  terms : 

"  '  Why  have  I  lived  to  this  day  ?  Why  am  I  not  dead  ?  Why  have  I  thus 
degraded  my  daughter-in-law  ? '  And  in  saying  this  he  shed  tears.  To  con- 
sole him,  my  wife  said  to  him,  '  Do  not  weep,'  and  she  danced.  I,  also,  al- 
though in  mourning,  joined  in  with  my  wife.  One  danced,  the  other  sang. 
This  made  my  old  father  smile,  and  perhaps  gave  him  solace.  There  I  that  is 
why  we  behaved  so.  Do  not  think  it  strange,  and  go  away." 

Listening  to  this  narrative  the  king  was  impressed  with  such  a  marked  su- 
preme devotion  on  the  part  of  the  son  and  daughter-in-law,  even  in  the  time 
of  deepest  misfortune,  and  he  said,  "This  is  the  most  extraordinary  thing  in 
the  world.  How  will  it  do  to  present  you  at  the  examination  to-morrow  ?  " 


"What  examination  to-morrow  ? "  asked  the  man. 

"Why,  certainly,"  said  Cheiig-chong,  "to-morrow  there  will  be  an  examin- 
at  on.  By  all  means  don't  fail  to  be  there." 

The  man  responded,  "  But  I  have  not  heard  it  said  that  there  is  to  be  an 
ex  animation. " 

"Whether  you  have  heard  or  not,"  said  the  king,  "prepare  to  compete, 
aad  present  yourself.  As  I  shall  also  present  myself  to-morrow  I  shall  give 
you  a  stall  in  the  enclosure." 

Having  thus  spoken  he  took  his  leave,  returned  to  the  palace  and  awaited 
tha  stroke  of  the  great  clock-bell. 

No  sooner  did  he  hear  the  vibration  of  the  mighty  gong  than  he  immedi- 
ately gave  the  order  to  announce  promptly  the  examination  in  the  city,  and 
beyond  the  walls,  to  the  utter  astonishment  of  the  literary  men,  who  said, 
"  Even  until  yesterday  no  one  had  heard  of  an  examination,  and  behold  it  was 
published  during  the  night.  What  does  this  mean  ?  " 

The  poor  householder  on  his  part  made  this  reflection,  "Although  I  knew 
no:hing  about  it,  this  man  knows  perfectly,"  and  he  started  out. 

On  the  way  he  noticed  a  crowd  of  candidates.  Without  hesitation  he 
entered  the  enclosure.  The  subject  of  the  examination  was  :  "  The  song  of  a 
mtn  in  mourning,  the  dance  of  a  nun,  the  tears  of  an  old  man." 

Of  all  the  students  not  one  could  derive  the  sense  of  such  a  subject. 

This  man  alone  knew  it  perfectly  well,  because  he  had  had  experience  of 
these  very  things  in  his  own  house.  He  treated  the  theme  clearly  and  sent  in 
his  copy.  The  king  having  examined  the  essay  and  found  it  without  a  mis- 
tat  e,  gave  the  degree  of  doctor  and  sent  for  him  to  come  to  him. 

When  they  were  in  each  other's  presence  the  king  said  : 

"  Do  you  know  me?  It  is  I  who  yesterday  recommended  you  to  present 
yourself  at  the  examination.  Lift  up  your  head  and  look." 

Fixing  his  gaze  attentively,  the  man  recognized  who  he  was — in  effect  the 
same  person — and  manifested  his  feelings  in  appropriate  actions  of  gratitude. 

"  Go  quickly,"  said  the  king  to  him,  "  go  find  your  old  father  and  wife." 

Forthwith,  with  high  appointment  to  office  joined  to  magnificent  treat- 
ment, the  king  recompensed  the  filial  piety  of  the  son  and  daughter-in-law. 

The  royal  renown  has  been  handed  down  from  generation  to  generation. 
In  "ruth,  beyond  the  goodness  of  the  king,  the  reward  bestowed  upon  the  filial 
devotion  of  these  two  married  people  is  known  to  every  one. 

Evidently  the  following  is  a  story  told  by  metropolitans  to  show 
up  the  bumpkins  of  the  provinces  : 


V  young  noble  of  Kiung-sang  province  was  going  on  a  journey  to  Seoul. 
Jus ;  as  he  was  about  to  depart,  his  wife  called  him. 

'  He  !  say  now,  listen  to  me  a  little.  I  have  heard  the  mother  of  Mr. 
Kim  speak  of  a  very  lovely  thing  which  looks  like  glass  and  pretty  metal. 
They  say  that  if  you  look  in  it  you  will  see  a  very  curious  thing.  You  must 
brii  g  me  one." 

316  CORE  A. 

"  Is  it  dear  or  cheap?  "  asked  the  husband. 

"  It  is  not  dear,"  said  she.  "  It  will  be  necessary  to  spend  some  money,  but 
if  you  heed  the  matter  at  all,  it  will  be  easy  to  pay  for  it."  This  is  what  the 
husband  heard  as  he  set  out  for  the  capital. 

Having  finished  his  business  at  Seoul  he  was  on  the  point  of  returning, 
having  almost  lost  sight  of  his  wife's  order.  At  last  he  recalled  it,  asked  the 
name  of  the  object  in  question,  and  made  the  purchase  of  a  mirror  through  one 
of  his  friends.  In  his  eagerness  to  get  home  he  put  his  wife's  commission  in 
his  wallet  without  even  looking  at  it.  When  he  arrived  home,  she  hastened 
to  take  out  the  mirror.  At  once  she  perceived  in  it  a  woman.  Immediately 
she  began  to  weep  and  to  berate  her  husband: 

' '  Oh  the  villain  !  not  only  to  play  himself  the  vagabond  and  debauchee 
but  to  bring  along  a  concubine  !  Is  it  possible?  This  woman,  what  is  she?  " 

The  amazed  husband  looked  in  the  mirror,  and  at  the  side  of  his  wife  per- 
ceived a  man.  Unable  to  contain  his  wrath  which  made  his  face  first  dark 
and  then  blue,  he  uttered  piercing  cries. 

"  Is  this  the  conduct  for  the  wife  of  a  noble.  You  have  brought  a  libertine 
here,"  cried  he. 

He  was  about  to  murder  his  wife,  when  his  old  mother  hearing  the  squabble 
came  in  to  know  what  it  was.  At  sight  of  the  old  woman  the  quarrel  ceased 
on  either  side.  Pointing  at  the  mirror,  the  rivals  spoke  both  at  once.  The 
weeping  daughter-in-law  raved  about  a  concubine,  the  son,  even  more  angry, 
talked  of  a  paramour.  As  the  couple  had  never  quarrelled  before,  there  was 
no  way  of  accounting  for  the  mystery. 

11  Do  not  be  vexed,"  said  she,  and  looking  in  the  mirror  she  saw  a  woman. 
At  once  she  broke  out  into  a  laugh. 

"Is  it  because  you  see  the  old  woman,  your  neighbor,  that  you  dispute? 
The  widow  Pak  has  come  to  get  some  fire,"  said  she,  and  she  went  out  to 
speak  to  her,  but  she  was  not  there. 

Astonished,  she  called  her  husband  and  said  to  him 

"  There  is  in  the  children's  room  a  very  funny  thing.  You  can  see  in  it 
all  kinds  of  extraordinary  things  and  they  are  bickering  over  it.  Come  and 
see  a  little." 

The  venerable  gentleman  having  entered  the  room  perceived  in  the  mirror 
an  aged  man. 

"  Hello  !  the  puppy  of  the  teacher  Tsoi  has  come  to  collect  his  fees  and  I 
have  not  a  penny.  That  is  not  very  nice." 

The  people  of  the  village,  one  by  one,  two  by  two,  all  without  exception 
looked  at  the  mirror,  but  unable  to  comprehend  anything,  they  made  a  tumult. 
Curious  to  know  what  should  result,  they  carried  it  to  the  magistrate.  At  sight 
of  the  instrument,  the  man  of  authority  more  astonished  than  the  others, 
called  the  policemen  and  gave  them  this  order  : 

"A  new  officer  has  arrived,  why  have  I  lost  my  place?  Get  ready  men 
and  horses  for  him. " 

Really  believing  that  he  had  been  cashiered  he  prepared  to  leave,  when  a 
young  policeman  after  a  careful  examination  of  the  mirror,  pointed  out  the 
manner  in  which  the  visage  of  each  individual  was  reflected. 



SHUT  off,  as  they  are,  from  the  rest  of  the  world,  like  fish  in  a 
well,  the  Coreans  nevertheless  have  coined  a  fair  share  of  homely 
wiedom,  which  finds  ready  circulation  in  their  daily  speech.  Their 
proverbs  not  only  bear  the  mint-mark  of  their  origin,  but  reflect 
truly  the  image  and  superscription  of  those  who  send  them  forth. 
Many,  indeed,  of  their  current  proverbs  and  pithy  expressions  are 
of  Japanese  or  Chinese  origin,  but  those  we  have  selected  are 
mainly  of  peninsular  birth,  and  have  the  flavor  of  the  soil. 

Do  the  Coreans  place  the  seat  of  wisdom  as  they  do  the  point 
of  vaccination,  in  the  nose  ?  They  ask,  "  Who  has  a  nose  three 
feet  long?"  which  means,  " If  one  is  embarrassed,  how  can  he  put 
others  at  ease?"  Evidently  they  have  a  wholesome  regard  for 
that  member.  A  "nose  of  iron"  describes  an  opinionated  man 
and  suggests  unlimited  "cheek."  A  common  expression  of  the 
Christians,  meaning  to  go  to  church  and  pray,  is  "  to  see  the  long 
no^e  of  the  father" — that  feature  of  the  French  priest's  face 
being  looked  upon  with  awe  as  the  seat  of  wisdom. 

Between  the  rivals,  Japan  and  China,  Corea  probably  sees  ter- 
se!:' in  this  proverb  of  the  unhappy  cur  that  wanders  boneless 
between  two  kitchens — the  cook  in  each  supposing  it  has  been 
fed  by  the  other.  "  The  dog  which  between  two  monasteries  gets 

Corea' s  isolation  is  "like  a  fish  in  a  well,"  or  "like  a  hermit 
in  the  market-place."  They  say  of  a  secluded  villager,  "He 
knows  nothing  beyond  the  place  which  he  inhabits." 

"  One  stick  to  ten  blind  men,"  is  something  very  precious. 

"The  cock  of  the  village  in  a  splendid  city  mansion,"  is  the 
bumpkin  in  the  capital. 

"To  have  a  cake  in  each  hand,"  is  to  know  not  which  to  eat 
first — to  be  in  a  quandary. 

"  A  volcano  under  the  snow,"  is  a  man  of  amiable  manners 
wh->  conceals  a  \iolent  temper. 

318  CORE  A. 

"The  treasure  which  always  circulates  without  an  obstacle,"  is 
"  cash,"  or  sapeks. 

"An  apricot-blossom  in  the  snow,"  is  said  when  something 
rare  and  marvellous  happens. 

"To  blow  away  the  hair  to  see  if  there  is  a  scar,"  is  to  look  for 
a  mote  in  another  man's  eye,  and  to  hunt  for  defects. 

"As  difficult  as  the  roads  of  Thibet,"  is  evidently  a  reminis- 
cence derived  from  the  ancient  Buddhist  missionaries  who  came 
from  that  region. 

"  To  put  on  a  silk  dress  to  travel  at  night,"  is  to  do  a  good 
action  and  not  have  it  known. 

Some  pithy  sayings  show  the  local  gauge  of  sense.  "He 
does  not  know  silver  from  lead,"  "He  has  round  eyes,"  "He 
can't  tell  cheese  from  wheat,"  He  is  an  idiot.  "Doesn't  know 
lu  from  yu."  This  last  refers  to  two  Corean  letters,  jot  and 

"As  opposed  as  fire  and  water." 

"  A  buckskin  man,"  is  a  man  of  no  will  or  backbone. 

"  To  have  a  big  hand,"  means  to  be  liberal. 

"A  great  blue  sea,"  refers  to  something  very  difficult,  with  no 
end  to  it  and  no  way  out  of  it. 

A  man  who  is  "  not  known  in  all  the  eight  coasts,"  is  an  utter 

A  very  sick  person  is  "  a  man  who  holds  disease  in  his  arms." 

"A  bag  of  diseases,"  is  a  chronic  patient. 

"  Who  can  tell  in  seeing  a  crow  flying  whether  it  be  male  or 
female?"  is  a  question  referring  to  the  impossible. 

The  numeral  10,000  (man)  plays  a  great  part  in  proverbial 
sayings  as  "10,000  times  certain."  Corea  is  a  "land  of  10,000 
peaks."  Certain  success  is  "10,000  chances  against  one."  "To 
die  10,000  times  and  not  be  regretted,"  is  to  be  "worthy  of 
10,000  deaths."  Ten  thousand  sorrows  means  great  grief.  A 
mountain  is  "10,000  heights  of  a  man  high."  "Ten  thousand 
strings  of  cash,"  is  a  priceless  amount.  Man-nin  are  10,000  peo- 
ple— all  the  people  in  the  universe. 

"  To  lose  one's  hands,"  is  to  make  a  fiasco. 

A  comet  is  an  "arrow  star." 

"  A  hundred  battles  make  a  veteran." 

Almost  as  poetical  as  the  Greek  "  anarithma  gelasma"  (unnum- 
bered laughings)  is  this  Corean  description  of  the  sea — "Ten 
thousand  flashings  of  blue  waves." 


"  To  lose  both  at  a  time,"  is  a  proverb  founded  on  a  native 

"When  a  raven  flies  from  a  pear-tree,  a  pear  falls" — appear- 
ances are  deceitful,  don't  hazard  a  guess. 

"  If  one  lifts  a  stone,  the  face  reddens."  The  Coreans  are  fond 
of  rival  feats  of  lifting.  Heavy  stones  are  kept  for  that  purpose. 
"Results  are  proportionate  to  effort  put  forth." 

Mosquitoes  are  lively  and  jubilantly  hungry  in  Cho-sen,  yet  it 
does  not  do  to  fight  them  with  heavy  weapons  or  "  seize  a  sabre 
to  kill  a  mosquito." 

A  very  poor  man  is  thus  described  :  "He  eats  only  nine  times 
in  i,  month,"  or  "He  eats  only  three  times  in  ten  days."  .To  say 
he  is  in  the  depths  of  poverty  is  to  mention  the  pathetic  fact  that 
"he  Jias  extinguished  his  fire  ;"  for  "he  looks  to  the  four  winds 
and  finds  no  friend." 

"The  right  and  left  are  different,"  is  said  of  a  hypocrite  who 
does  not  speak  as  he  thinks. 

When  a  man  is  not  very  bright  he  "has  mist  before  his 
eyes  ;"  or  he  "carries  his  wits  under  his  arms  ;"  or  has  "hid- 
den his  soul  under  his  arm-pits,"  or  he  "  goes  to  the  east  and 
goes  to  the  west  when  he  is  bothered." 

Like  Beaconsfield's  dictum — "  Critics  are  men  who  have  failed 
in  literature  and  art,"  is  this  Corean  echo,  "Good  critic,  bad 

"On  entering  a  village  to  know  its  usages,"  is  our  "When  in 
Rome  do  as  the  Romans  do." 

"  To  destroy  jade  and  gravel  together,"  refers  to  indiscrimi- 
nato  destruction. 

"Without  wind  and  without  cloud,"  describes  a  serene  life. 

"Go  to  sea,"  is  a  provincial  malediction  heavier  than  a  tinker's, 
and  worse  than  "  Go  to  grass." 

•'I  am  I,  and  another  is  another,"  is  a  formula  of  selfish,  and 
Corean  for  "e#o  et  non  ego"  "I  and  not  I." 

'  A  poor  horse  has  always  a  thick  tail  "—talent  and  capacity 
are  badly  located. 

The  large  number  of  morals  pointed  and  tales  adorned  by  the 
tiger  are  referred  to  elsewhere. 



THE  one  royal  quadruped  associated  with  Corea,  as  the  white 
elephant  is  with  Siam,  the  bison  with  the  United  States,  or  the 
dromedary  with  Egypt,  is  the  tiger.  Unlike  his  relative  in  India 

that  roams  in  the  hot  jun- 
gles and  along  the  river 
bottoms,  the  Corean  "king 
of  the  mountains  "  is  seen 
oftenest  in  the  snow  and 
forests  of  the  north,  rang- 
ing as  far  as  the  fiftieth 

Both  actually  and  ideal- 


of  power  and  fierceness. 
The  flag  of  the  tiger-hunt- 
ers, from  the  northern 
provinces  of  Ping-an  or 
Ham-kiung,  who  so  bravely 
faced  the  rifles  of  the 
United  States  marines  and 
sailors  in  "our  little  war 
with  the  heathen,"  in  1871, 
was  a  winged  tiger  rampant, 
spitting  fire,  holding  the 
lightnings  in  his  lifted  fore-claws,  and  thus  embodying  the  powers 
of  earth,  air,  and  heaven.  It  reminds  one  of  the  winged  leopard  in 
the  vision  of  Daniel,  "After  this,  I  beheld,  and  lo  another  like  a 
leopard,  which  had  upon  the  back  of  it  four  wings  of  a  fowl."  It  is 
the  tutelary  genius  of  the  descendants  of  the  aboriginal  worshippers 
of  the  tiger,  who  even  yet  cling  to  the  religion  of  the  soil. 1 

Jl X 

Battle-flag  Captured  in  the  Han  Forts,   1871. 

1  This  flag  was  presented  by  its  captors  to  Commodore  Homer  C.  Blake,  by 
whose  courtesy  the  writer  had  the  sketch  made  for  the  cut  given  above. 


The  caps  of  the  body-guard  of  the  sovereign  are  decorated 
with  the  cheek  and  whiskers  of  the  tiger,  in  order  to  inspire 
terror  among  beholders.  The  Corean  beauty  carries  among  the 
jewelry  and  "  charms"  in  the  reticule  at  her  waist,  a  claw  of  the 
dre  aded  pern  or  tiger,  nor  can  the  hardy  mountaineer  put  in  the 
hand  of  his  bride  a  more  eloquent  proof  of  his  valor  than  one  of 
these  weapons  of  a  man-eater.  It  means  even  more  than  the  edel- 
weiss of  other  mountain  lands.  On  the  floors  of  the  better  class 
of  bouses  the  tiger-skin  rug  not  only  adorns  the  best  room,  but 
makes  the  children's  play-ground,  or  the  baby's  cushion  in  lieu  of 
era  lies,  which  are  unknown.  The  soft  hair  of  these  natural  rugs  is 
often  a  finger  long.  Curious  toys  are  made  of  the  fur. 

The  most  prized  articles  among  the  tribute  offerings  (in  these 
days,  rather  a  "bonus"  or  bribe,  than  a  tax  or  humiliation)  pre- 
sented at  the  court  of  Peking,  as  of  old  at  Kioto  or  Yedo,  are 
these  gorgeous  pelts.  One  of  them,  which  the  writer  saw  recently, 
the  property  of  a  Japanese  merchant,  measured  twelve  feet  long, 
exclusive  of  the  tail.  The  symbol  of  military  rank  in  old  Japan, 
as  indicative  as  our  shoulder-straps,  was  a  tiger-skin  scabbard. 
Especially  was  it  honorable  to  wear  it  if  captured  with  one's  own 
hands  on  "frontier  service."  The  hair  of  these  animals  seems  to 
have  more  of  a  woolly  quality  than  those  from  India,  while  the 
orange  tint  is  far  less  predominant,  white  taking  its  place.  The 
blank  bars  are,  however,  of  equal  magnificence  with  the  tropical 
product,  and  the  tail  seems  to  be  rather  longer.  Some  idea  of  the  numbers  and  awful  ravages  of  these  huge  J elides  in  the  two 
northern  provinces  of  the  Peninsular  Kingdom,  may  be  gained 
from  the  common  saying  of  the  Chinese  that  "the  Coreans  hunt 
the  tiger  during  one  half  the  year  and  the  tigers  hunt  the  Coreans 
during  the  other  half."  The  Coreans  retort  by  the  proverb  born 
of  the  desolation  that  has  so  often  followed  the  presence  of  a  Chi- 
neso  army  on  their  soil,  whether  as  invaders  or  allies  :  "  After  the 
Chiiese,  the  tigers.'"  As  a  single  man  can  create  the  gigantic 
spectre  of  the  Brocken,  so  in  the  national  literature  this  one  ani- 
mal seems  to  have  cast  a  measureless  shadow  of  evil  influence 
upon  this  hermit  nation.  From  the  most  ancient  times  it  has 
been  an  object  of  religious  reverence.  "  They  also  worshipped  the 
tiger,  which  they  looked  on  as  a  god,"  was  written  of  the  people 
livii.g  on  the  sea  of  Japan  before  the  Christian  era.  "They  had 
also  the  many-spotted  leopard."  A  few  of  the  national  proverbs 
will  illustrate  the  amount  of  attention  which  the  subject  receives 

322  COREA. 

in  daily  life,  in  art,  religion,  and  language,  and  how  often  it  serves 
to  point  the  morals  and  adorn  the  tales  told  around  Corean 
hearths.  "  A  wooden  tiger,"  is  the  ass  in  the  lion's  skin. 

"A  broken-backed  tiger"  describes  impotent  and  raging  malice. 

"  To  give  wings  to  a  tiger,"  is  to  add  shrewdness  to  force. 

"If  you  don't  enter  the  tiger's  lair,  you  can't  get  her  cubs,"  is 
said  to  spur  on  the  faint  heart,  "to  beard  the  tiger  in  his  cave." 

"A  tiger's  repast,"  describes  excess  in  eating,  or  the  gorging 
which  follows  after  fasting.  "  To  nourish  a  tiger,  and  have  him 
devour  you,"  probably  states  a  common  fact  of  history,  as  well  as 
it  depicts  ingratitude.  "  If  you  tread  on  the  tail  of  a  tiger,  you'll 
know  it,"  explains  itself.  "It  is  hard  to  let  go  the  tail  of  a  tiger," 
suggests  our  "fire"  after  the  "frying-pan,"  or  the  "other  horn 
of  the  dilemma  ;"  while  over-cautious  people  "  in  avoiding  a  deer, 
meet  a  tiger."  Men  of  irascible  temper  or  violent  disposition  are 
given  the  pet  name  of  maing-ho,  which  means  an  unusually  .fero- 
cious tiger  or  "  man-eater." 

Corean  shrewdness  utilizes  the  phenomena  of  local  experience, 
and  equals  the  craft  of  the  sellers  of  Joseph.  So  common  is 
the  disappearance  of  a  villager  through  visitations  of  the  tiger, 
that  the  standard  method  of  escaping  creditors  or  processes  of 
law  is  to  leave  bits  of  one's  torn  clothes  in  the  woods,  and  then  to 
abscond.  Obliging  friends  or  relatives  quickly  report,  "Devoured 
by  a  tiger,"  and  too  often  it  is  believed  that  "Joseph  is  without 
doubt  rent  in  pieces."  This  local  substitute  for  our  former  G.  T. 
T.,  or  the  usual  trip  to  Europe,  is  especially  fashionable  in  places 
where  "tigers  as  big  as  a  mountain"  are  plentiful.  To  drive 
away  the  dreaded  kal-pem,  the  people  invoke  the  aid  of  the  tu-e',  a 
fabulous  monster,  which  is  the  enemy  of  the  tiger,  and  which  the 
latter  greatly  fears.  The  cry  of  his  name  tu-e',  tu-e,  is  believed  to 
act  as  a  charm,  and  is  often  raised  by  villagers  at  night. 

In  art,  though  the  native  picture-maker  may  draw  a  lion  in 
such  preposterous  shape  and  with  such  impossible  attributes  as  to 
show  at  once  that  no  living  model  was  ever  before  his  eyes,  yet  in 
those  pictures  of  the  tiger  drawn  by  Corean  artists  which  we  have 
examined,  accuracy  and  vigor  of  treatment  predominate  over 
artistic  grace. 

The  hunters  who  are  familiar  with  every  habit,  trait  of  charac- 
ter, and  physical  detail  of  the  species,  carefully  distinguish  his 
parts  and  varieties.  Ho-rang-i  is  the  generic  name  for  the  fell* 
iigris.  Kal-pem  is  a  mature  fellow  in  full  claw,  scratchy  and 


ferocious.  Maing-ho  is  a  large  one  of  unusual  size  and  in  the  full 
rampancy  of  his  vigor.  Mil-pal  is  an  old  brute  that  can  no  longer 
scratch,  and  is  most  probably  mangy,  and  well  gouged  and  scarred 
from  numerous  household  quarrels  and  frequent  tussles  with 
rivals.  Pi-ho  is  one  agile  in  turning  tail  to  escape,  rather  than  in 
showing  teeth  to  fight — the  term  being  sometimes  applied  to  the 
leopard.  San-tol  is  a  huge  fellow  that  makes  annual  visits  to  one 
place,  making  his  lightning  strike  more  than  once  in  the  same 
spot.  Siyo-ho  is  a  little,  and  hal-pem  is  a  female,  tiger.  A  "  stone" 
tigress  is  sterile.  Special  terms  suggestive,  and  even  poetical,  for 
the  murders,  calamities,  or  ravages  of  the  beast,  for  traps  or 
ditches,  for  the  skin,  tail  (used  for  banners  and  spear-sheaths), 
beard,  moustaches,  and  the  noises  of  purring,  growling,  nocturnal 
caterwauling,  and  even  for  lashing  the  tail,  enrich  and  vivify  the 
Cho-sen  vocabulary. 

Tiger-shooting  is  not  a  favorite  sport  among  the  nobles  or 
young  bloods.  Hunting  in  general  is  considered  a  servile  occu- 
pation. Nobles,  except  those  of  a  few  poor  families  in  the  north- 
ern provinces,  never  practise  it  as  sport.  Yet  it  is  free  to  all. 
There  are  no  game  laws,  no  proscription  of  arms,  no  game  pre- 
serves, no  seasons  interdicted. 

The  only  animal  which  it  is  forbidden  to  kill  is  the  falcon, 
whose  life  is  protected  by  stringent  laws.  From  the  most  ancient 
times  this  bird  of  the  golden  wing  has  been  held  in  high  honor. 
The  hunting-grounds  are  almost  entirely  among  the  mountains,  as 
the  valleys  are  too  densely  occupied  with  rice  and  millet  fields 
and  cultivated  soil,  to  allow  game  to  exist  or  be  hunted.  The 
chief  weapon  used  is  the  flint-lock,  imported  from  Japan.  With 
this  a  single  hunter  will  attack  the  huge  game,  although  the  ani- 
mal, when  not  immedately  killed,  leaps  right  upon  his  enemy  and 
easily  makes  him  his  prey.  When  a  tiger  has  caused  great  rav- 
ages in  a  district,  the  local  magistrate  calls  together  all  the 
professional  hunters  and  organizes  a  hunt  in  the  mountains.  In 
sucl  cases,  the  chase  is  usually,  and  of  intent,  without  results  ;  for 
the  ttkin  is  the  property  of  the  government,  and  the  official  always 
looks  out  for  himself,  coming  in  first  for  the  spoils.  Hence  it  is 
that  a  government  hunt  is  usually  a  farce.  Most  of  the  tiger- 
hunters  prefer  to  meet  the  royal  game  alone,  for  then  the  prized 
skin,  which  they  sell  secretly,  is  theirs.  They  eat  the  meat,  and  the 
bont  s  stripped  and  boiled  make  various  medicines. 

The  number  of  human  lives  lost,  and  the  value  of  property 

324  COREA. 

destroyed  by  their  ravages,  is  so  great  as  at  times  to  depopulate 
certain  districts.  A  hungry  tiger  will  often  penetrate  a  village  in 
which  the  houses  are  well  secured,  and  will  prowl  around  a  hovel 
or  ill-secured  dwelling,  during  several  entire  nights.  If  hunger 
presses  he  will  not  raise  the  siege  until  he  leaps  upon  the  thatched 
roof.  Through  the  hole  thus  made  by  tearing  through,  he  bounds 
upon  the  terrified  household.  In  this  case  a  hand-to-claw  fight 
ensues,  in  which  the  tiger  is  killed  or  comes  off  victorious  after 
glutting  himself  upon  one  or  more  human  victims.  Earely,  how- 
ever, need  this  king  of  Corean  beasts  resort  to  this  expedient,  for 
such  is  the  carelessness  of  the  villagers  that  in  spite  of  the  man- 
eater's  presence  in  their  neighborhood,  they  habitually  sleep 
during  the  summer  with  the  doors  of  their  houses  wide  open,  and 
oftentimes  even  in  the  sheds  in  the  open  fields  without  dreaming 
of  taking  the  precaution  to  light  a  fire. 

This  sense  of  security  is  especially  apt  to  follow  after  a  grand 
hunt  successfully  pursued.  Then  the  prey  is  supposed  to  have 
been  all  killed  off  in  the  vicinity  or  driven  to  the  distant  moun- 
tains. The  Coreans  are  as  careless  of  tigers  as  the  Japanese  are  of 
fires.  Sometimes  the  tiger  is  caught  in  a  snare,  without  danger 
and  by  very  simple  means.  A  deep  pit  is  covered  over  with 
branches,  leaves,  and  earth.  At  the  bottom  a  sharp  stake  is  set 
up.  This,  however,  is  only  rarely  used.  During  the  winter  the 
snow  is  half  frozen  over  and  strong  enough  to  bear  the  weight  of 
a  man,  but  is  broken  through  by  the  paws  of  the  tiger.  The 
beast  sinks  to  the  belly,  and  not  being  able  to  move  fast,  or  es- 
cape, is  as  helpless  as  a  fly  in  molasses.  It  is  then  apparently 
quite  easy  to  approach  the  creature  at  bay,  though  woe  be  to  the 
hunter  who  is  too  sure  of  his  prey.  To  be  well-equipped  for  this 
method  of  mountain  sport,  the  hunter  must  have  a  short  sword, 
lance,  and  snow-shoes.  These  sel-mai,  or  racquettes,  are  of  slightly 
curved  elastic  board,  well  fitted  with  loops  and  thongs.  With 
dogs,  trained  to  the  work,  the  san-chang  (lanceman)  starts  the 
game,  and  following  up  the  trail  usually  finishes  him  with  a  thrust 
of  his  spear  ;  or,  in  bravado,  with  a  sword-stroke.  This  method 
of  sport  was  the  favorite  one  pursued  by  the  Japanese  invaders. 
Though  occasionally  a  man-at-arms  was  chewed  up,  or  clawed  into 
ribbons,  scores  of  glossy  skins  were  carried  back  to  Nippon  as 
trophies  by  the  veterans.  Indeed,  it  may  be  said,  to  mo&t  Japa- 
nese children,  the  nearest  country  west  of  them  has  no  other  asso- 
ciation in  their  minds  than  as  a  land  of  tigers.  At  Gensan,  the 


merchants  from  Tokio  had  their  dreary  homesickness,  about  the 
time  of  their  first  New  Year's  season  in  the  strange  land,  rather 
unpleasantly  enlivened  by  the  advent  of  several  striped  man- 
eaters.  These  promenaded  the  settlement  at  night,  and  seemed 
highly  desirous  of  tasting  a  Japanese,  after  having  already  feasted 
on  several  natives.  The  prospect  of  playing  Little  Eed  Riding 
Hood  to  a  whiskered  man-eater  was  not  a  very  pleasant  expe- 
rience, though  a  possible  one  at  any  time.  A  tiger  ten  feet  long 
car,  easily  stow  away  two  five-feet  Japanese  without  grievous 
symptoms  of  indigestion.  For  an  untrained  hand,  even  when 
armed  with  a  Winchester  breech-loader,  to  attempt  hunting  this 
Co3-ean  emblem  of  power  is  not  attractive  sport.  The  tiger  is 
more  apt  to  hunt  the  man,  for  elephants  are  not  at  hand  to  fur- 
nish, the  shelter  of  their  backs.  The  Japanese  do  not  seem  to 
hanker  after  tiger-claws  or  skins  while  in  the  flesh,  but  prefer  to 
buy  for  cash  over  their  own  counters  at  Gensan.  The  "  crop  "  of 
these  costly  pelts  averages  five  hundred  a  year  at  this  one  port. 

Few  experiences  tend  more  to  develop  all  the  manly  virtues 
than  facing  a  tiger  on  foot  in  his  native  wilds.  The  Coreans  know 
thitf,  and  in  their  lack  of  drilled  troops  capable  of  meeting  the 
soldiers  of  Europe — their  "  army  "  consisting  almost  entirely  of 
archers,  spearmen,  and  jingal-firers — they  summoned  the  tiger- 
hunters  from  Ping-an  to  fight  the  Frenchmen  of  Admiral  Eoze's 
expedition  of  1866.  Underrating  their  enemy,  the  Frenchmen,  in 
attempting  to  storm  a  fortified  monastery  garrisoned  by  the  hunt- 
ers were  completely  defeated.  When  the  marines  and  sailors  of 
the  American  naval  expedition  of  1871  assaulted  "Fort  McKee," 
after  it  had  been  swept  by  the  shells  of  the  fleet,  they  were 
amazed  at  the  stern  courage  of  their  dark-visaged  enemies,  who, 
with  matchlock,  spear,  and  sword,  fought  against  the  shells  and 
breech-loaders  to  the  last.  The  Americans  speak  admiringly  of 
these  brave  fellows,  so  worthy  of  their  lead  and  steel. 



A  CAREFUL  study  of  the  common  names  applied  to  the  moun- 
tains, rivers,  valleys,  caves,  and  other  natural  features  of  the  soil 
and  landscape  of  any  country  will  lay  bare  many  of  the  primitive 
or  hidden  beliefs  of  a  people.  No  words  are  more  ancient  than  the 
aboriginal  names  given  to  the  natural  features  of  a  country  amid 
which  the  childhood  of  a  nation  has  been  spent.  With  changing 
customs,  civilization,  or  religion,  these  names  still  hold  their  place, 
reflecting  the  ancient,  and  often  modified,  or  even  vanished,  faith. 

Even  a  casual  examination  of  the  mountain,  river,  and  other 
local  names  of  places  in  Corea  will  give  one  a  tolerably  clear  out- 
line of  the  beliefs  once  fully  held  by  the  ancient  dwellers  of  this 
peninsula.  Against  the  tenets  and  influences  of  Buddhism  these 
doctrines  have  held  their  sway  over  the  minds  of  the  people  and 
are  still  the  most  deeply-seated  of  their  beliefs.  The  statements 
of  ancient  Chinese,  and  later  of  Japanese  writers,  of  foreign  cast- 
aways, and  of  the  French  missionaries  all  concur  in  showing  us 
that  Shamanism  is  the  basis  of  the  Corean's,  and  especially  the 
northern  Corean's,  faith.  In  the  first  historic  accounts  of  Fuyu, 
Kokorai,  and  the  Sam-han,  we  find  the  worship  of  the  spirits  of 
heaven  and  earth,  and  of  the  invisible  powers  of  the  air,  of  na- 
ture, the  guardian  genii  of  hills  and  rivers,  of  the  soil  and  grain, 
of  caves,  and  even  of  the  tiger.  They  worshipped  especially  the 
morning-star,  and  offered  sacrifice  of  oxen  to  heaven.  From  such 
scanty  notices  of  early  Corea,  especially  of  the  northern  parts,  we 
may  form  some  idea  of  the  cultus  of  the  people  before  Buddhism 
was  introduced.  •  From  the  reports  of  recent  witnesses,  Dutch, 
Japanese,  and  French,  and  the  evidence  of  language,  we  incline  to 
the  belief  that  the  fibres  of  Corean  superstition  and  the  actual 
religion  of  the  people  of  to-day  have  not  radically  changed  during 
twenty  centuries,  in  spite  of  Buddhism.  The  worship  of  the  spir- 
its of  heaven  and  earth,  of  mountains  and  rivers  and  caves,  of  the 


moining  star,  is  still  reflected  in  the  names  of  these  natural  ob- 
jects and  still  continues,  in  due  form,  as  of  old,  along  with  the 
sacrifices  of  sheep  and  oxen. 

The  god  of  the  hills  is,  perhaps,  the  most  popular  deity.  The 
people  make  it  a  point  to  go  out  and  worship  him  at  least  once  a 
year,  making  their  pious  trip  a  picnic,  and,  as  of  old,  mixing  their 
eating  and  drinking  with  their  religion.  Thus  they  combine  piety 
and  pleasure,  very  much  as  Americans  unite  sea-bathing  and  sanc- 
tification,  croquet  and  camp-meeting  holiness,  by  the  ocean  or  in 
groves.  On  mountain  tops,  which  pilgrims  climb  to  make  a  visit 
for  religious  merit,  may  often  be  seen  a  pile  of  stones  called  siong- 
war  g-tang,  dedicated  to  the  god  of  the  mountain.  The  pilgrims 
cany  a  pebble  from  the  foot  of  the  mountain  to  the  top.  These 
pilgrims  are  among  those  held  in  reputation  for  piety. 

The  other  popular  gods  are  very  numerous.  The  mok-sin,  the 
genii  of  the  trees,  the  god  of  rain  and  of  the  harvest,  are  all  pro- 
pitiated, but  the  robust  Corean,  blessed  with  a  good  appetite, 
especially  honors  Cho-an-nim,  the  tutelary  genius  of  the  kitchen. 
To  a  Corean,  the  air  is  far  from  being  empty.  It  is  thickly 
inhabited  with  spirits  and  invisbile  creatures.  Some  of  these  fig- 
ments of  imagination,  and  the  additional  powers  for  good  and 
evil,  which  the  Corean  attributes  to  animals  of  flesh  and  blood, 
are  treated  of  in  a  former  chapter  on  Mythical  Zoology.  Even 
the  breezes  are  the  breath  of  spirits,  and  "  a  devil's  wind  "  is  a 
tempest  raised  by  a  demon  intent  on  mischief.  When  a  person 
falk  dead  suddenly,  heart-disease  is  not  thought  of ;  he  has  been 
struck  by  a  devil's  arrow.  There  are  not  wanting  sorcerers  who 
seek  to  obtain  supernatural  force  by  magic,  which  they  use 
against  their  enemies  or  for  hire,  direct  the  spirits  to  wreak 
malignity  against  the  enemy  of  him  who  fees  them.  These 
soiverers  are  social  outcasts,  and  reckoned  the  lowest  of  humanity. 

The  unlucky  days  are  three  in  each  month,  the  figure  of  ill- 
omen  being  five.  They  are  the  fifth,  fifteenth,  and  twenty-fifth. 
On  all  extraordinary  occasions  there  are  sacrifices,  ceremonies,  and 
praters,  accompanied  with  tumultuous  celebration  by  the  popu- 
lace .  The  chief  sacrifices  are  to  heaven,  earth,  and  to  the  King 
or  Emperor  of  Heaven l  (Shang  Ti  of  the  Chinese). 

1  This  word,  pronounced  in  a  slightly  different  way  in  Corean,  is  the  term 
whi  :h  Dr.  James  Legge,  in  his  "  Religions  of  China,"  and  many  missionaries 
of  Reformed  Christianity,  translate  God  (Jehovah,  Theos),  but  which  the  Ro- 
mai  Catholic  missionaries  are  forbidden  to  use.  Dr.  Legge  holds  that  Shang 

328  COREA. 

The  various  superstitions  concerning  the  direction  of  evil,  the 
auspicious  or  the  ill-omened  lay  of  the  land,  the  site  for  the  build- 
ing of  a  house,  or  the  erection  of  a  tomb,  will  be  well  understood 
by  those  who  know  the  meaning  of  the  Chinese  term,  Fung  Shuy, 
or  the  Corean  Pung-siu.  This  system  of  superstition  has  not  only 
its  millions  of  believers,  but  also  its  priests  or  professors,  who  live 
by  their  expertness  and  magnify  their  calling.  The  native  vocab- 
ulary relating  to  these  pretenders  and  all  their  works  is  very  pro- 
fuse. Among  the  common  sights  in  Corea  are  little  mounds  raised 
on  eligible,  propitious  places,  in  which  a  pole  is  planted,  from 
which  little  bells  or  cymbals  are  hung.  These  jingled  by  the 
breeze  are  supposed  to  propitiate  the  good  spirits  and  to  ward  off 
the  noxious  influences  of  the  demons.  The  same  idea  is  expressed 
in  the  festoons  of  wind-bells  strung  on  their  pagodas  and  temples. 
Pung-siu  means  literally  "wind  and  water,"  but  in  a  broad  sense  is 
a  rude  cyclopaedia  of  ideas  relating  to  nature,  and  bears  nearly  the 
same  relation  to  natural  philosophy  as  astrology  does  to  astron- 
omy. Its  ideas  color  every-day  speech,  besides  having  a  rich  ter- 
minology for  the  advanced  student  of  its  mysteries. 

Upon  this  system,  and  perhaps  nearly  coeval  in  origin  with  it, 
is  the  cult  of  ancestral  worship  which  has  existed  in  Chinese  Asia 
from  unrecorded  time.  Confucius  found  it  in  his  day  and  made 
it  the  basis  of  his  teachings,  as  it  had  already  been  of  the  religious 
and  ancient  documents  of  which  he  was  the  editor. 

The  Corean  cult  of  ancestor-worship  seems  to  present  no  fea- 
tures which  are  radically  distinct  from  the  Chinese.  Public  cele- 
brations are  offered  at  stated  times  to  ancestors,  and  in  every  well- 
to-do  house  will  be  found  the  gilt  and  black  tablets  inscribed  with 
the  names  of  the  departed.  Before  these  tablets  the  smoke  of 
incense  and  sacrifice  arises  daily.  In  the  temple  also  are  rooms 
for  the  preservation  of  duplicates  of  the  tablets  in  the  private 
houses  for  greater  safety.  Like  the  iron  atoms  in  his  blood,  the 
belief  in  ancestral  piety  and  worship  is  wrought  into  the  Corean' s 
soul.  The  Christian  missionaries  meet  with  no  greater  obstacle 
to  their  tenets  and  progress  than  this  practice.  It  is  the  source, 
even  among  their  most  genuine  converts,  of  more  scandals,  lapses, 
and  renunciations,  than  are  brought  about  by  all  other  causes. 

Confucianism,  or  the  Chinese  system  of  ethics,  is,  briefly  stated, 

Ti  is  the  most  ancient  title  of  Deity  in  the  language  of  the  Chinese,  and  was 
used  by  their  ancestors  when  they  held  to  primitive  monotheism.  "In  the 
ceremonies  at  the  altars  of  heaven  and  earth,  they  served  God  "  (Confucius). 


an  expansion  of  the  root  idea  of  filial  piety.  It  is  duty  based  on 
relation.  Given  the  five  great  relations,  all  the  manifold  duties  of 
life  follow.  The  five  relations  are  that  of  king  and  subject  (prince 
and  minister),  of  parent  and  child,  of  husband  and  wife,  of  the 
elder  brother  and  the  younger  brother,  and  between  friends. 
TLe  cardinal  virtues  inculcated,  or  "The  Five  Constituents  of 
WDrth,"  or  constant  virtues  displayed,  according  to  the  teachings 
of  Confucius,  by  the  perfect  man  are  :  1,  Benevolence  ;  2,  Upright- 
ness of  Mind  ;  3,  Propriety  of  Demeanor ;  4,  Knowledge  or  En- 
lightenment ;  5,  Good  Faith ;  or,  Affection,  Justice,  Deference, 
Wisdom,  Confidence. 

With  the  ethics  of  the  Chinese  came  their  philosophy,  which  is 
based  on  the  dual  system  of  the  universe,  and  of  which  in  Corean, 
yum-yang  (positive  and  negative,  active  and  passive,  or  male  and 
female)  is  the  expression.  All  things  in  heaven,  earth,  and  man 
art  the  result  of  the  interaction  of  the  yum  (male  or  active  prin- 
ciple) and  the  yang  (female  or  passive  principle).  Even  the 
metals  and  minerals  in  the  earth  are  believed  to  be  produced 
through  the  yum-yang,  and  to  grow  like  plants  or  animals. 

The  Confucian  ethics,  suiting  well  a  state  of  feudalism,  and 
being  ever  acceptable  to  the  possessors  of  authority,  found  con- 
genial soil  in  the  peninsla,  as  they  had  already  taken  root  in 
Kokorai.  They  nourished  the  spirit  of  filial  piety  and  personal 
loyalty,  of  feud  and  of  blood-revenge,  by  forbidding  a  man  to 
livo  under  the  same  heaven  with  the  murderer  of  his  father  or 
master.  Notwithstanding  the  doctrines  and  loftier  morals  of 
Buddha,  the  Chinese  ethics  and  ancestor-worship,  especially  in 
the  northern  part  of  the  peninsula,  underlaid  the  outward  ad- 
he}  -ence  of  the  people  to  the  religion  of  the  Enlightened  One. 
As  the  average  Christian,  in  spite  of  the  spirit  of  Jesus  and  the 
Sermon  on  the  Mount,  is  very  apt  to  base  his  behavior  and  legal 
procedure  on  the  code  of  Justinian,  so  the  Corean,  though  he 
may  believe  in  Fo  (Buddha),  practises  after  the  rules  of  Kong-ja 

Official  sacrifices  are  regulated  by  the  government  and  are 
offi-red  up  publicly  at  the  national  festivals.  Something  of  the 
regulated  subordination  in  vogue  among  the  Chinese  prevails  in 
Ch  >-sen  when  ancestors  are  honored.  High  officials  may  sacrifice 
to  rhree  ancestors,  the  gentry  only  to  father  and  grandfather,  and 
the  common  people  to  father  only.  In  every  province,  capital,  and 
city  ranked  as  Tai-mu-kan,  there  are  buildings  containing  statues 

330  COREA. 

of  Confucius  and  his  thirty-two  disciples,  which  are  maintained 
at  the  public  expense. 

Confucianism  overspreads  the  whole  peninsula,  but  during  the 
prevalence  of  Buddhism,  from  the  fourth  to  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury, was  probably  fully  studied  and  practised  only  by  the  learned 
classes.  Under  the  present  dynasty,  or  from  the  fifteenth  century, 
the  religion  of  China  has  been  both  the  official  and  popular  cult 
of  Cho-sen,  long  ago  reaching  the  point  of  bigotry,  intolerance, 
and  persecution.  Taoism  seems  to  be  little  studied. 

In  Corean  mouths  Buddha  becomes  Pul,  and  his  "  way  "  or 
doctrine  Pul-to  or  Pul-chie.  Introduced  into  Hiaksai  in  the  fourth, 
and  into  Shinra  in  the  sixth  century,  the  new  faith  from  India 
made  thorough  conquest  of  the  southern  half  of  the  peninsula,  but 
has  only  partially  leavened  the  northern  portion,  where  the  grosser 
heathenism  prevails.  The  palmy  days  of  Corean  Buddhism  were 
during  the  era  of  Korai  (from  905-1392,  A.D.).  The  missionary- 
work  had  been  accomplished,  the  reigning  dynasty  were  pro- 
fessors and  defenders  of  the  faith,  and  for  these  four  centuries  it 
was  the  religion  of  the  state.  The  few  surviving  monuments  of 
this  era  of  splendor  are  the  grand  pagodas,  monasteries,  and  tem- 
ples that  are  found,  especially  in  the  southern  provinces.  The 
profusion  of  legal  and  ecclesiastical  terms  in  the  language  which 
relate  to  lands  set  apart  to  provide  revenues  for  the  temples,  and 
to  their  boundaries  and  rents,  and  the  privileges  of  monks  and 
priests,  are  more  probably  the  relics  of  a  past  time,  being  only 
verbal  shells  and  husks  of  what  were  once  fruit  and  kernel. 

Until  the  fifteenth  or  sixteenth  century  the  Japanese  Buddhists 
looked  to  the  "Treasure-land  of  the  West,"  as  they  termed  Cho- 
sen, for  spiritual  and  even  pecuniary  aid  in  their  ecclesiastical 
enterprises.  The  special  features  of  many  renowned  Japanese  tem- 
ples, libraries,  collections  of  books,  images,  altar  furniture,  etc., 
are  of  Corean  origin.  This  is  especially  noticeable  in  the  old  seats 
of  the  faith  in  Kioto.  Images  in  gold,  gilt  wood,  bronze,  and 
some  fire-resisting  material — perhaps  platinum — are  known  and 
duly  certified  by  genuine  documents  in  temples  in  other  cities 
In  a  building  at  Kamakura  is  a  copy  of  the  Buddhist  canon  in  a 
revolving  library,  said  to  have  been  obtained  by  Sanetomo  fron, 
Corea  in  the  thirteenth  century.  Among  the  amusing  passages  in 
the  letters  from  Ashikaga  in  Kamakura,  two  hundred  years  later, 
is  the  hint  given  to  the  king  of  Corea  that  a  contribution  in  aid 
of  the  repair  of  certain  Japanese  temples  would  be  acceptable. 


The  site  and  general  surroundings  of  Corean  Buddhist  temples 
and  monasteries  greatly  resemble  those  of  China  and  Japan.  They 
are  often  situated  on  hills,  rising  ground,  and  even  high  moun- 
tains, and  walled  round  by  lofty  and  venerable  trees  which  seem 
to  inspire  awe  and  veneration  in  the  worshipper,  besides  acting  as 
extinguishers  to  sparks  drifted  from  neighboring  fires.  An  impos- 
ing gateway  is  usually  built  at  some  distance  before  the  temple, 
with  massive  curved  roof  of  tiles,  and  flanked  by  a  wall  of  ma- 
somy  which,  in  its  upper  part,  consists  of  plaster  tiled  at  the  top. 
On  the  frieze  of  the  portal,  the  name  of  the  temple  is  inscribed  in 
large  Chinese  characters.  Sanskrit  letters  or  monograms  are  occa- 
sionally seen.  Under  a  roofed  shed  in  front  hangs  the  drum  on 
which  the  bonze  beats  the  hours  for  prayer,  or  of  the  clock.  On 
the  other  side  stands  the  coffer  for  the  cash  of  the  faithful,  or  a 
well  for  the  manual  ablutions  of  pious  worshippers.  Boards,  on 
which  are  written  the  names  of  those  who  have  contributed  money 
to  the  temple,  are  suspended  near  by,  and  the  thatched  houses  of 
the  neophytes  and  bonzes  are  close  at  hand. 

The  idols  seen  in  a  Corean  temple  are  the  same  as  those  found 
throughout  Buddhist  Asia.  The  chief  is  that  of  Shaka  Muni,  or 
Buddha,  the  founder  of  the  religion.  In  their  sculpture  and  artis- 
tic treatment  of  this,  the  central  figure  of  their  pantheon,  the 
image-carvers  of  the  different  countries  do  not  greatly  vary,  ad- 
hering strictly  to  their  traditions.  The  sage  in  Nirvana  sits  on  his 
knees  with  the  soles  of  his  feet  turned  upward  to  the  face.  His 
hands  touch,  thumb  to  thumb,  and  finger  to  finger.  The  folds  of 
the  robes,  the  round  bead-like  caste  mark  of  his  forehead,  the 
snails  on  his  crown — which  tradition  says  came  out  to  shelter  his 
head  from  the  rays  of  the  sun — and  the  lop  or  pierced  ears,  are 
substantially  the  same  as  those  seen  on  idols  from  India,  Siam,  and 
Thibet.  The  eye  is  only  slightly  oblique,  and  the  ear-lobes  are 
made  but  slightly  bulbous,  to  satisfy  the  tastes  of  worshippers  in 
Chinese  Asia.  The  throne,  consisting  of  the  fully  opened  calyx  of 
a  lot  us  flower — the  symbol  orf  eternity — with  the  petals  around  the 
base  and  seed-holes  open,  is  the  same. 

In  the  representation  of  local  deities  the  artist  asserts  his 
patriotism  and  displays  his  own  taste.  In  the  various  countries 
overrun  by  Buddhism,  the  indigenous  heroes,  sages,  and  gods 
hav(  been  renamed  and  accepted  by  the  Buddhists "  as  avatars  or 
inca -.'nations  of  Buddha  to  these  countries  before  the  advent  of 
the  teachers  of  "  the  time  religion."  There  are  also  saints  and 

332  COREA. 

subordinate  magnates  in  the  Buddhist  gallery  of  worshipped 
worthies,  with  whose  effigies  the  artist  does  not  scruple  to  take 
certain  liberties.  One  can  easily  recognize  an  idol  of  Chinese, 
Corean,  Siamese,  or  Japanese  manufacture,  though  all  bear  the 
same  name.  The  god  of  war  in  Cho-sen  holds  the  double-bladed 
sword,  with  its  tasselled  cord,  and  wears  the  Chino-Corean  armor 
and  helmet.  In  the  aureole  round  the  head  are  three  fiery  revolv- 
ing thunder-clouds.  On  the  battle-flags  captured  by  the  Amer- 
ican forces  in  1871  were  painted  or  embroidered  the  protecting 
deities  of  those  who  fought  under  them.  One  of  these,  whether 
representing  a  Buddha,  as  seems  most  probable,  or,  as  is  possible, 
some  local  hero — perhaps  Dan  Kun  or  Ki  Tsze — deified,  rides  on 
one  of  the  curious  little  ponies,  stunted  and  piebald,  of  Ham- 
kiung,  with  which,  even  in  ancient  times,  one  could  ride  under  a 
fruit  tree.  Evidently  it  would  have  been  safer  for  Absalom  in 
Corea  than  in  woody  Palestine. 

The  tutelary  god  on  the  stunted  piebald  horse  is  dressed  in 
the  peculiar  winged  head-dress  and  frilled  collar  which  travellers 
on  Ham-kiung  soil  noticed  fifteen  centuries  ago.  His  armor  is  in 
scales,  or  wrought  in  the  "  wave-pattern  "  characteristic  of  Corean 
art.  His  shoes  and  saddle  are  of  the  Chinese  type.  He  rides 
among  the  conventional  clouds,  which  in  the  native  technique,  are 
different  from  those  of  either  China  or  Japan.  Evidently  the  Budd- 
ha and  saints  of  Shaka  Muni  are  portrayed  by  the  native  artist 
according  to  the  strict  canons  of  orthodoxy,  while  in  dealing  with 
indigenous  deities,  artistic  licence  and  local  color  have  free  play. 
Most  of  the  artists  and  sculptors  of  temple  work  are  priests 
or  monks.  The  principal  idols  are  of  brass,  bronze,  or  gilded 
wood,  the  inferior  sorts  are  of  stone.  The  priests  dress  just 
like  the  Japanese  bonzes.  They  attend  the  sick  or  dying,  but 
have  little  to  do  with  the  burial  of  the  dead,  owing  to  the  prev- 
alence of  the  Pung-sui  superstition,  to  which  a  Corean  in  life  and 
in  death  is  a  bond-slave.  This  all-powerful  disease  of  the  intellect 
is  the  great  corrupter  of  Corean  Buddhism,  many  of  its  grossest 
ideas  being  grafted  into,  or  flourishing  as  parasites  on  a  once 
pure  faith. 

In  its  development  Corean  Buddhism  has  frequently  been  a 
potent  influence  in  national  affairs,  and  the  power  of  the  bonzes 
has  at  times  been  so  great  as  to  practically  control  the  court  and 
nullify  decrees  of  the  king.  With  the  Fuyu  race — that  is  in  Cho- 
sen and  Nihon — the  history  of  Buddhism  has  a  decidedly  mili- 


tary  cast.  During  the  first  centuries  of  its  sway  in  the  peninsula 
the  ablest  intellects  were  fed  and  the  ablest  men  were  developed 
by  i:,  so  that  it  was  the  most  potent  factor  in  Corea's  civilization. 
Over  and  over  again  have  the  politcial  and  social  revolutions  been 
led  by  Buddhist  priests,  who  have  proved  agitators  and  warriors 
as  well  as  recluses  and  students.  Possessing  themselves  of  learn- 
ing, they  have  made  their  presence  at  court  a  necessity.  Here 
they  have  acted  as  scribes,  law-givers,  counsellors,  and  secretaries. 
Often  they  have  been  the  conservers  of  patriotism.  The  shaven- 
pate  d  priest  has  ever  been  a  standard  character  in  the  glimpses 
of  Corean  history  which  we  are  allowed  to  catch. 

Not  always  has  this  influence,  been  exerted  for  good,  for  once 
possessed  of  influence  at  court,  they  have  not  scrupled  to  use  it  for 
the  purpose  of  aggrandizing  their  sects.  Tradition  tells  of  high 
nobies  won  from  the  pleasures  of  the  palace  to  the  seclusion  of 
the  cloisters,  and  even  of  Corean  quesns  renouncing  the  bed  of 
thei?  royal  spouses  to  accept  the  vows  of  the  nuns.  As  in  Japan, 
the  frequent  wars  have  developed  the  formation  of  a  clerical 
militia,  not  only  able  to  garrison  and  defend  their  fortified  monas- 
teries but  even  to  change  the  fortune  of  war  by  the  valor  of  their 
exploits  and  the  power  of  their  commisariat.  There  seems  to  be 
three  distinct  classes  or  grades  of  bonzes.  The  student  monks 
devote  themselves  to  learning,  to  study,  and  to  the  composition  of 
books  and  the  Buddhist  ritual,  the  tai-sa  being  the  abbot.  The 
jun<j  are  mendicant  and  travelling  bonzes,  who  solicit  alms  and 
coni  ributions  for  the  erection  and  maintenance  of  the  temples  and 
monastic  establishments.  The  military  bonzes  (siung  kun)  act  as 
garrisons,  and  make,  keep  in  order,  and  are  trained  to  use,  weapons. 
Mar  y  of  their  monasteries  are  built  on  the  summit  or  slopes  of 
high  mountains,  to  which  access  is  to  be  gained  only  with  the 
greatest  difficulty  up  the  most  rocky  and  narrow  passages.  Into 
these  fastnesses  royal  and  noble  professors  of  the  faith  have  fled 
in  time  of  persecution,  or  pious  kings  have  retired  after  abdica- 
tion. In  time  of  war  they  serve  to  shelter  refugees.  It  was 
in  attacking  one  of  these  strongholds,  on.  Kang-wa  Island,  in 
186* ),  that  the  French  marines  were  repulsed  with  such  fearful 

Many  temples  throughout  the  country  have  been  erected  by 
the  old  kings  of  Korai  or  by  noblemen  as  memorials  of  events, 
or  a  s  proofs  of  their  devotion.  The  building  of  one  of  these  at 
greid  expense  and  the  endowment  of  others  from  government 

334  COREA. 

funds,  sometimes  happens,  even  during  the  present  dynasty,  as  was 
the  case  in  1865,  when  the  regent  was  influenced  by  the  bonzes. 
He  rebuilt  the  temple  in  an  unparalleled  style  of  magnificence, 
and  made  immense  presents  to  other  temples  out  of  the  public 
treasury.  It  has  been  by  means  of  these  royal  bounties,  and  the 
unremitting  collection  of  small  sums  from  the  people,  that  the 
bonzes  have  amassed  the  vast  property  now  held  by  them  in  eccle- 
siastical edifices,  lands,  and  revenues.  Some  of  these  mountain 
monasteries  are  large  and  stately,  with  a  wealth  of  old  books, 
manuscripts,  liturgical  furniture,  and  perhaps  even  yet  of  money 
and  land.  The  great  monastery  of  Tong-to-sa,  between  Kiung- 
sang  and  Chulla,  is  noted  for  its  library,  in  which  will  be  found 
the  entire  sacred  canon.  The  probabilities  of  American  or  Eu- 
ropean scholars  finding  rare  treasures  in  the  form  of  Sanskrit 
MSS.  in  this  unsearched  field  are  good,  since  the  country  is  now 
opened  to  men  of  learning  from  Christendom.  As  a  rule,  the  com- 
pany of  monks  does  not  number  over  ten,  twenty,  or  thirty,  re- 
spectively, in  the  three  grades  of  temples.  Hamel  tells  us  that 
they  live  well  and  are  jolly  fellows,  though  his  opinion  was  some- 
what biased,  since  he  remarks  that  "as  for  religion,  the  Coreans 
have  scarcely  any.  .  .  .  They  know  nothing  of  preaching 
or  mysteries,  and,  therefore,  have  no  disputes  about  religion." 
There  were  swarms  of  monastics  who  were  not  held  in  much 
respect.  He  describes  the  festivals  as  noisy,  and  the  people's 
behavior  at  them  as  boisterous.  Incense  sticks,  or  "joss"  per- 
fumery, seemed  very  much  in  vogue.  He  bears  witness  to  their 
enjoyment  in  natural  scenery,  and  the  delightful  situation  of  the 
famous  temples. 

Even  at  the  present  day,  Buddhist  priests  are  made  high 
officers  of  the  government,  governors  of  provinces,  and  military 
advisers.  Like  as  in  Japan,  Buddhism  inculcates  great  kindness 
to  animals — the  logical  result  of  the  doctrine  of  the  transmigration 
of  souls,  and  all  who  kill  are  under  its  ban.  Though  beef,  pork, 
and  mutton  are  greedily  eaten  by  the  people,  the  trade  of  the 
butcher  is  considered  the  most  degraded  of  all  occupations,  and 
the  butchers  and  leather  dressers  form  a  caste  below  the  level  of 
humanity,  like  the  Etas  in  Japan.  They  are  beneath  the  slaves. 
They  must  live  in  villages  apart  from  the  rest  of  the  people,  and 
are  debarred  from  receiving  water,  food,  fire,  or  shelter  at  the 
hands  of  the  people.  The  creation  of  this  class  of  Corean  pariahs 
and  the  exclusion  of  these  people  from  the  pale  of  recognized  so- 


ciety  is  the  direct  result  of  the  teachings  of  the  bonzes.  Like  the 
Chinese,  and  unlike  the  Japanese  bonze,  the  devotees  will  often 
mutilate  themselves  in  the  frenzy  of  their  orgies,  in  order  to  gain 
a  character  for  holiness  or  in  fulfilment  of  a  vow.  One  of  these 
bonzes,  appointed  by  the  magistrate  to  dispute  publicly  with  a 
Christian,  had  lost  four  fingers  for  the  sake  of  manufacturing  a 
reputation.  The  ceremony  of  pul-tatta,  or  "receiving  the  fire,"  is 
undergone  upon  taking  the  vows  of  the  priesthood.  A  moxa  or 
cone  of  burning  tinder  is  laid  upon  the  man's  arm,  after  the  hair 
has  been  shaved  off.  The  tiny  mass  is  then  lighted,  and  slowly 
burns  into  the  flesh,  leaving  a  painful  sore,  the  scar  of  which 
remains  as  a  mark  of  holiness.  This  serves  as  initiation,  but  if 
vows  are  broken,  the  torture  is  repeated  on  each  occasion.  In  this 
manner,  ecclesiastical  discipline  is  maintained. 

In  the  nunneries  are  two  kinds  of  female  devotees,  those  who 
shave  the  head  and  those  who  keep  their  locks.  The  po-sal  does  not 
part;  with  her  hair,  and  her  vows  are  less  rigid.  Hamel  mentions 
two  convents  in  Seoul,  one  of  which  was  for  maidens  of  gentle 
birth,  and  the  other  for  women  of  a  lower  social  grade. 

Excepting  in  its  military  phases,  the  type  of  Corean  Buddhism 
approaches  that  of  China  rather  than  of  Japan.  In  both  these 
countries  its  history  is  that  of  decay,  rather  than  of  improvement, 
and  it  would  be  difficult  indeed  for  Shaka  Muni  to  recognize  the 
faith  which  he  founded,  in  the  forms  which  it  has  assumed  in 
Che-sen  and  Nippon ;  nor  did  it  ever  succeed  in  making  the 
thorough  missionary  conquest  of  the  former,  which  it  secured  in 
the  latter,  country.  The  priority  of  the  Confucian  teachings  and 
the  thorough  indoctrination  of  the  people  in  them,  the  nearness 
of  China,  the  close  copying  of  Chinese  manners,  customs,  and  ma- 
terialistic spirit,  the  frequency  of  Chinese  conquests,  and  perhaps 
the  presence  of  an  indigenous  religion  even  more  strongly  marked 
than  that  of  Shinto  in  Japan,  were  probably  the  potent  reasons 
why  Buddhism  never  secured  so  strong  a  hold  on  the  Corean  in- 
tellect or  affections  as  upon  the  Japanese.  Nevertheless,  since 
Buddhism  has  always  been  largely  professed,  and  especially  if 
Confucianism  be  considered  simply  an  ethical  system  and  not  a 
religion  proper,  Corea  may  be  classed  among  Buddhist  countries. 
Among  the  surprises  of  history  is  the  fact  that,  in  1876,  the  Shin, 
or  3-fceformed  sect  of  Japanese  Buddhists,  sent  their  missionaries 
to  Corea  to  preach  and  convert.  Among  their  conquests  was  a 
young  native  of  ability,  who  came  to  Kioto,  in  1878,  to  study  the 

336  COREA. 

reformed  Buddhism,  and  who  later  returned  to  preach  among  his 
own  people.  In  1880  five  more  young  Coreans  entered  the  Shin 
theological  school  in  Kioto,  and  a  new  and  splendid  Shin  temple, 
dedicated  to  Amida  Buddha,  has  been  built  at  Gensan.  Evidently 
this  vigorous  sect  is  resolutely  endeavoring,  not  only  to  recoup 
the  losses  which  Christianity  has  made  in  its  ranks  in  Japan,  but 
is  determined  to  forestall  the  exertions  of  Christian  missionaries 
in  the  peninsula. 

So  thoroughly  saturated  is  the  Corean  mind  with  Chinese  philosophy 
(p.  829)  that  when  of  necessity  a  national  emblem  or  flag  must  be  made,  the 
symbol  expressive  of  the  male  and  female,  or  active  and  passive  principles 
dominating  the  universe,  was  selected.  Though  Corea  excels  in  the  variety 
of  her  bunting  and  the  wealth  of  symbolism  upon  her  flags  and  streamers,  yet 
the  national  flag,  as  now  floated  from  her  ships,  custom-houses,  and  Legations 
in  the  United  States  and  Europe,  has  an  oblong  field,  in  the  centre  of  which 
are  the  two  comma-shaped  symbols,  red  and  black,  of  the  two  universal 
principles.  In  each  of  the  four  corners  of  the  flag  is  one  of  the  Pak-wa  or 
eight  diagrams,  consisting  of  straight  and  broken  lines,  which  Fu-hi,  the  re- 
puted founder  of  Chinese  civilization,  read  upon  the  scroll  on  the  back  of  the 
dragon-horse  which  rose  out  of  the  Yellow  River,  and  on  the  basis  of  which 
he  invented  the  Chinese  system  of  writing.  In  these  diagrams  the  learned 
men  in  Chinese  Asia  behold  the  elements  of  all  metaphysical  knowledge,  and 
the  clue  to  all  the  secrets  of  nature,  and  upon  them  a  voluminous  literature, 
containing  divers  systems  of  divination  and  metaphysical  exegesis,  has  been 
written.  The  eight  diagrams  may  be  expanded  to  sixty-four  combinations  > 
or,  are  reducible  to  four,  and  these  again  to  their  two  primaries.  The  con- 
tinuous straight  line,  symbol  of  the  yum  principle,  corresponds  to  light, 
heaven,  masculinity,  etc.  The  broken  line  symbolizes  the  yang  principle, 
corresponding  to  darkness,  earth,  femininity,  etc.  These  two  lines  signify 
the  dual  principle  at  rest,  but  when  curved  or  comma-shaped,  betoken  the 
ceaseless  process  of  revolution  in  which  the  various  elements  or  properties 
of  nature  indicated  by  the  diagrams  mutually  extinguish  or  give  birth  to  one 
another,  thus  producing  the  phenomena  of  existence. 

Professor  Terrien  de  Lacouperie  sees  in  the  Pak-wa  a  link  between  Baby- 
lonia and  China,  a  very  ancient  system  of  phonetics  or  syllabary  explaining 
the  pronunciation  of  the  old  Babylonian  characters  and  their  Chinese  deriva- 
tives. It  is  not  likely  that  Morse  derived  the  idea  of  his  magneto-electric 
telegraphic  alphabet  from  the  Chinese  diagrams.  Possibly  the  Corean  literati 
who  suggested  the  design  for  a  national  flag  intended  to  show,  in  the  brightly 
colored  and  actively  revolving  germs  of  life  set  prominently  in  the  centre,  and 
contrasted  with  the  inert  and  immovable  straight  lines  in  the  background  of  the 
corners,  the  progressive  Corea  of  the  present  and  future  as  contrasted  with 
Corea  of  the  past  and  her  hermit-like  existence.  Significantly,  and  with  un- 
conscious irony  of  the  Virginia  advertisers,  the  new  Corean  flag  was  first  pub- 
lished to  the  Western  world  at  large  on  the  covers  of  cigarette  packages.  For 
centuries  the  energies  of  Coreans  have  been  wasted  in  tobacco  smoke,  and  the 
era  of  national  decay  is  almost  synchronous  with  the  introduction  of  tobacco. 



COEEA  received  her  culture  from  China,* and  gave  it  freely  to 
Jap  in.  If  we  may  believe  the  doubtful  story  of  Ki  Tsze,  then  the 
Coreans  have  possessed  letters  and  writing,  or,  what  is  the  equiva- 
lenl  thereto,  they  have  had  "civilization,"  during  three  thousand 
years.  It  is  certain  that  since  about  the  opening  of  the  Christian 
era,  the  light  of  China's  philosophy  has  shone  steadily  among 
Corean  scholars.  Japanese  early  tradition — unworthy  of  credence 
in  the  matter  of  chronology — claims  that  literature  was  brought 
to  Nippon  as  early  as  the  period  157-30  B.C.  The  legend  of  Jingu 
brii  ging  back  books  and  manuscrpts  from  Shinra  is  more  prob- 
abk  ;  while  the  coming  of  Wani  from  Hiaksai,  to  teach  the  Chi- 
nese characters  and  expound  the  classics,  is  a  historic  fact,  though 
the  real  date  may  be  uncertain,  or  later  than  the  accepted  one, 
which  is  285  A.D.  While  the  Kokorai  people  may  have  brought 
letters  with  them,  as  they  migrated  southward,  in  Hiaksai  the 
Confucian  analects  were  not  studied  until  the  fourth  century, 
when  official  recognition  of  education  was  made  by  the  appoint- 
mei  t  of  Hanken  as  master  of  Chinese  literature.  This  is  said  to 
havo  been  the  first  importation  of  learning  into  the  peninsula.  It 
was  so  in  the  sense  of  being  formally  introduced  from  China  into 
the  country  south  of  the.Ta-tong  Eiver. 

As  in  most  of  the  Asiatic  countries,  into  which  Chinese  culture 
penetrated,  popular  education  was  for  centuries  a  thing  unthought 
of.  Learning  was  the  privilege  of  a  few  courtiers,  who  jealously 
guarded  it  from  the  vulgar,  as  an  accomplishment  for  those  about 
the  royal  person,  or  in  the  noble  families.  The  classics  and  eth- 
ical doctrines  seem  in  every  case  to  have  penetrated  the  nations 
suri  ounding  the  Middle  Kingdom,  and  formed  the  basis  of  courtly 
and  aristocratic  education. 

Buddhism  furnished  the  popular  or  democratic  element,  which 
brought  learning  to  the  lower  strata  of  society.  Neophytes  were 

338  COREA. 

usually  taken  from  the  humbler  classes,  and  thus  culture  was 
diffused.  Even  the  idols,  pictures,  and  scrolls,  with  the  explana- 
tions and  preaching  in  the  vernacular,  served  to  instruct  the  peo- 
ple and  lift  their  thoughts  out  of  the  rut  of  every-day  life — a 
result  which  is  in  itself  true  education.  Wherever  Buddhism 
penetrated,  there  was  more  or  less  literature  published  in  the